Oral tolerance has been associated with the control of experimental autoimmune diseases including experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model of human multiple sclerosis (MS). Oral antigens have been shown to suppress EAE, providing evidence that oral tolerance can be elicited in this demyelinating inflammatory condition.
Dartmouth researchers have now shown that oral administration of a combination of antibiotics and exogenous commensal bacteria, such as such as Bacteroides fragilis, which express capsular polysaccharides (e.g., PSA), can control peripheral immunity and the balance of tolerance in adaptive and innate pathways. These findings are relevant to further the understanding of disease pathogenesis, since in autoimmune diseases the homeostatic regulation of the balance between an effective immune response against foreign antigens and auto-reactive responses appears to be disrupted. Use of antibiotics in combination with commensal bacteria is expected to alter the gut flora thereby providing a therapy that is focused on shifting the host immune response by either blockade or ablation leading to a more regulatory phenotype.
This technology is claimed in a pending patent application. We are seeking an industrial partner interested in its commercialization.
Last Updated: 7/24/12