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


Wed, 23/08/2023
Neurology Webinar on human brain T cells in health and multiple sclerosis
Muenster. The SFB 128 is happy welcome Joost J.F.M. Smolders, MD, PhD , head of MS Center ErasMS and Neuroimmunology Brain (NIB) Research Group at the Department of Immunology of the Erasmus University Medical Center (Erasmus MC), as lecturer at the Muenster Neurology Webinar. His talk is entitled “Unique features of human brain T cells […]...more
Thu, 03/08/2023
Neurology Webinar – How much gut needs the brain
Muenster. In December 2023, Prof. Anne-Katrin Pröbstel, Head of the Interdisciplinary Autoimmune Clinic at the University Hospital of Basel, will visit Muenster to give insights into the microbiota-immune crosstalk in neuroonflammation. Her presentation – which ois part of the Muenster Neurology Webinar – will be live-streamed. Time: Wednesday, December 13, 5:15 p.m. Place: Online at […]...more
Thu, 02/02/2023
3rd Inflammation & Imaging Symposium in Münster, 11-13 September 2023
Application has opened! We cordially invite you to join this international conference and discuss the latest developments in research on inflammation and the imaging of the immune system with us. The symposium is organised by eight research networks from the University of Münster – CRU 342, CRC 1009, CRC 1450, CRC/TR 128, CRC/TR 332, InFlame, […]...more