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Anemoside B4 ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice by modulating inflammatory responses and the gut microbiota

Zou, M;Chen, FJ;Deng, LR;Han, Q;Huang, CY;Shen, SS;Tomlinson, B;Li, YH;

Anemoside B4 (AB4) is a representative component of Pulsatilla decoction that is used in traditional Chinese medicine for treating inflammatory conditions. It is not known whether AB4 has beneficial effects on multiple sclerosis (MS).In the present study, we examined the preventative and therapeutic effects of AB4, and the possible mechanism by which it protects female mice against experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE).Preventative treatment with AB4 (given orally at 100 and 200 mg/kg for 18 days) reduced the clinical severity of EAE significantly (from 3.6 ± 1.3 to 1.8 ± 1.5 and 1.6 ± 0.6, respectively), and inhibited demyelination and inflammatory infiltration of the spinal cord. In the therapeutic protocol, oral administration of 200 mg/kg AB4 for 21 days after initiation of EAE significantly alleviated disease severity (from 2.6 ± 1.3 to 0.9 ± 0.6) and was as effective as the clinically used drug fingolimod (0.3 ± 0.6). Furthermore, both doses of AB4 significantly inhibited mRNA expression of TNF-?, IL-6, and IL-17, and STAT3 activation, in the spinal cord; and the ex vivo and iv vitro AB4 treatment markedly inhibited secretion of the three cytokines from lymphocytes of EAE mice upon in vitro restimulation. In addition, AB4 reversed the changes in the composition of the intestinal microbiome observed in EAE mice.We reveal for the first time that AB4 protects against EAE by modulating inflammatory responses and the gut microbiota, demonstrating that AB4 may have potential as a therapeutic agent for treating MS in humans.