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Intermittent caloric restriction with a modified fasting-mimicking diet ameliorates autoimmunity and promotes recovery in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis

Bai, M;Wang, Y;Han, R;Xu, L;Huang, M;Zhao, J;Lin, Y;Song, S;Chen, Y;

Dietary interventions such as fasting have been proved to be effective in the prevention of metabolic and autoimmune diseases as well as aging-related conditions. The complicated interaction between nutrition and immunity has drawn wide attention in recent years. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic effect of intermittent caloric restriction on autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model of multiple sclerosis, in mice. EAE was induced by immunization of C57BL/6 mice with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein 35-55 peptide. After the EAE symptoms became obvious at the 4th week post-immunization, the mice were administered with a modified fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) at 1/3 cal of control for 3 days, followed by ad libitum with normal chow for 4 days. A total of two cycles of FMD was applied. Compared with the mice without receiving caloric restriction, the mice using FMD had significant decreases in EAE severity, immune cell infiltration in spinal cord and CNS demyelination. FMD administration also reversed EAE-mediated CNS accumulation of total CD4+ T cells and in particular, IFN-?-producing CD4+ T cells. Moreover, FMD application elevated the cell proliferation rate in CNS and enhanced expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and remyelination markers. In conclusion, our results indicate that intermittent caloric restriction using the modified FMD was effective in the treatment of EAE through ameliorating inflammatory response and promoting recovery of the damaged tissue.