The immunomodulatory effect of probiotics has been shown mainly in gastro-intestinal immune disorders and little information is available on the inflammation of central nervous system. Recently we reported that IRT5 probiotics, a mixture of 5 probiotics, could suppress diverse experimental inflammatory disorders. In this study, we evaluated the prophylactic and therapeutic effects of IRT5 probiotics in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a T cell mediated inflammatory autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. Pretreatment of IRT5 probiotics before disease induction significantly suppressed EAE development. In addition, treatment with IRT5 probiotics to the ongoing EAE delayed the disease onset. Administration of IRT5 probiotics inhibited the pro-inflammatory Th1/Th17 polarization, while inducing IL10(+) producing or/and Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells, both in the peripheral immune system and at the site of inflammation. Collectively, our data suggest that IRT5 probiotics could be applicable to modulate T cell mediated neuronal autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis.
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