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Classical Prescription Shengjiang Powder Alleviates Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis by Regulating the Metabolism of Fatty Acid and Altering the Gut Microbiota

Wu, L;Xu, H;Qin, L;Peng, L;Gong, Q;Zhao, M;Zhao, Y;Wu, Z;Zheng, Z;

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neuroinflammatory disease that exhibits physical disability with a significant economic burden. However, limited drugs are available for its treatment. Sheng-Jiang powder (SJP) is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with good anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, but its therapeutic effects on MS are still unclear.

Aim of the study: This study aimed to investigate the therapeutic effect and underlying working mechanism of SJPin myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein MOG35–55(DSS)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE)mice.

Materials and methods: The efficacy of SJP was evaluated in the MOG35–55-induced EAE models. The disease severity was monitored via clinical symptoms, body weight, food and water intake, H&E staining, immunohistochemistry, biochemical assays, ELISA, real-time PCR, and flow cytometry. Furthermore, metabolomics detected differential metabolites in serum, while 16S rRNA gene sequencing analyzed the fecal microbiota of mice.Results: SJP alleviated MOG35–55-induced EAE symptoms and histological damage, restored the peripheral Th17/Treg immune balance, decreased pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, and increased the anti-inflammatory cytokine levels. SJP treatment affected the metabolism and absorption of fatty acids, especially PUFA, in EAE mice. Simultaneously, SJP also changed the structures of intestinal microorganisms in EAE, thus, reducing the proportion of some pathogenic bacteria proportion.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that SJP might become a potential remedy for MS treatment and can provide evidence for further development of TCM therapies for autoimmune diseases.