The research conducted by US and Belgian scientists looked at the impact of diet changes in a mouse model of the childhood inflammatory bone disorder chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO).
They found that a diet that limited growth of the intestinal bacteria Prevotella also protected the mutant mice from developing osteomyelitis and reduced the production of the immune molecule interleukin-1β (IL-1β), which promoted inflammation. Meanwhile, transplanting the intestinal microbiome from healthy mice into the at-risk, experimental mice appeared to help protect them from osteomyelitis, the researchers said.
Dr Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti, one of the study’s authors, said the results were interesting because they helped explain how environmental factors like diet could influence susceptibility to autoinflammatory diseases.
“While multiple lines of evidence have suggested that diet can impact human disease, the scientific mechanism involved was a mystery. Our results demonstrate that diet can influence immune-mediated disorders by shaping the composition of the gut microbiome, which our findings suggest play a role in immune regulation,” she said.
Dr John Lukens, another author from the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, suggested that probiotics might provide a “more targeted method” for suppressing production of IL-1β and protecting against such inflammatory diseases.
Hight fat and cholesterol diet
The experimental mice fed a diet rich in fat and cholesterol maintained normal body weight, but were significantly protected against inflammatory bone disease and bone erosion. This was accompanied by a noticeable reduction in intestinal Prevotella levels and significantly reduced IL-1β expression.
The scientists said they also saw a decrease in IL-1β expression in experimental mice treated with antibiotics and in wild mice kept under germ-free conditions.
Published online ahead of print, doi:10.1038/nature13788
“Dietary modulation of the microbiome affects autoinflammatory disease”
Authors: P. Gurung, P. Vogel, G. Johnson, R. Carter, D. McGoldrick, S. Rao Bandi, C. Calabrese, L. Vande Walle and M. Lamkanfi