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Antibody cross-reactivity between casein and myelin-associated glycoprotein results in central nervous system demyelination

Chunder, R;Weier, A;Mäurer, H;Luber, N;Enders, M;Luber, G;Heider, T;Spitzer, A;Tacke, S;Becker-Gotot, J;Kurts, C;Iyer, R;Ho, PP;Robinson, WH;Lanz, TV;Kuerten, S;

Significance Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most prevalent autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS), leading to irreversible deficits in young adults. Its pathophysiology is believed to be influenced by environmental determinants. As far back as the 1990s, it had been suggested that there is a correlation between the consumption of cow’s milk and the prevalence of MS. Here, we not only demonstrate that a high percentage of MS patients harbor antibodies to bovine casein but also that antibody cross-reactivity between cow’s milk and CNS antigens can exacerbate demyelination. Our data broaden the current understanding of how diet influences the etiology of MS and set the stage for combining personalized diet plans with disease-modifying treatment strategies.