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Oral vancomycin treatment suppresses gut trypsin activity and preserves intestinal barrier function during EAE

Bianchimano, P;Iwanowski, K;Smith, EM;Cantor, A;Leone, P;Bongers, G;Gonzalez, CG;Hongsup, Y;Elias, J;Weiner, HL;Clemente, JC;Tankou, SK;

Studies have reported increased intestinal permeability in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and its mouse model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). However, the mechanisms driving increased intestinal permeability that in turn exacerbate neuroinflammation during EAE remain unclear. Here we showed that vancomycin preserved the integrity of the intestinal barrier, while also suppressing gut trypsin activity, enhancing the relative abundance of specific Lactobacilli and ameliorating disease during EAE. Furthermore, Lactobacilli enriched in the gut of vancomycin-treated EAE mice at day 3 post immunization negatively correlated with gut trypsin activity and EAE severity. In untreated EAE mice, we observed increased intestinal permeability and increased intestinal protease activated receptor 2 (PAR2) expression at day 3 post immunization. Prior studies have shown that trypsin increases intestinal permeability by activating PAR2. Our results suggest that the interaction between intestinal PAR2 and trypsin may be a key modulator of intestinal permeability and disease severity during EAE.