Impact of diet and intestinal microbiota on the gut-CNS axis – implication for CNS autoimmunity


Environmental influences contribute to the pathogenesis and progression of various autoimmune diseases, including MS. In particular, some nutrients and their metabolites have been identified that can either promote inflammatory processes, or exhibit protective effects. Based on our previous data, intestinal myeloid cells act as (first-line) “gatekeepers” of the intestinal immune system. They sense and translate signals from the intestine, i.e., dietary components, gut microbiota and microbial metabolites, into appropriate immune responses. Multiple such intestinal signals then result in either promotion or attenuation of inflammatory states and finally impacting even distant T cell-mediated autoimmune responses in the CNS.
We aim to further understand these key intestinal signals and their triggers to specifically elicit beneficial modulation of inflammatory immune responses in the CNS. To do so, we will evoke a well standardized and targeted modification of the gut environment via the application of specific probiotics in combination with defined, synergistic diets. First, we will characterize the effects of this dietary supplementation on intestinal myeloid cells and their impact on CNS autoimmune responses in the murine system. Second, we will perform a human interventional study to elucidate potential protective effects of the dietary supplementation in relapsing-remitting MS patients. We also aim to study dietary habits in an existing large German cohort of patients with mild/moderate relapsing-remitting MS and correlate the findings with key clinical and MRI markers of MS activity as well as with peripheral immune signatures. Our main question is:

    1. What is the protective effect of probiotic supplementation and a well-defined diet on CNS autoimmune responses?











Principal Investigators:

Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Luisa Klotz
Klinik für Neurologie mir Institut für Translationale Neurologie

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. rer. nat. Detlef Schuppan
Klinik für Neurologie


Tue, 14/12/2021
Save the date: 2nd Inflammation & Imaging Symposium
Münster. Save the date: 12-14 September 2022! We cordially invite you to join this international symposium, jointly organized by the research networks CRC 1450, CRC 1009, CRC 1348, CRU 342, CRC/TR 128 and the Cells in Motion Interfaculty Centre at the University of Münster. At the same time, we will officially open the new research […]...more
Mon, 09/08/2021
Dietary conjugated linoleic acid links reduced intestinal inflammation to amelioration of CNS autoimmunity
A close interaction between gut immune responses and distant organ-specific autoimmunity including the CNS in multiple sclerosis has been established in recent years. This so-called gut-CNS axis can be shaped by dietary factors, either directly or via indirect modulation of the gut microbiome and its metabolites. Here, SFB 128 PI Luisa Klotz and colleagues report […]...more
Thu, 28/01/2021
BioNTech Publishes Data on Novel mRNA Vaccine Approach to Treat Autoimmune Diseases in Science
BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX, “BioNTech” or “the Company”) announced the publication of preclinical data on its novel mRNA vaccine approach against autoimmune diseases in the peer-reviewed journal Science. The publication titled “A non-inflammatory mRNA vaccine for treatment of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis” co-authored by SFB principal investigator Ari Waisman summarizes the findings on the disease-suppressing effects […]...more