Estrogen protection against EAE modulates the microbiota and mucosal-associated regulatory cells

Gil Benedek, Jun Zhang, Ha Nguyen, Gail Kent, Hilary A. Seifert, Sean Davin, Patrick Stauffer, Arthur A. Vandenbark, Lisa Karstens, Mark Asquith, Halina Offner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Sex hormones promote immunoregulatory effects on multiple sclerosis. In the current study we evaluated the composition of the gut microbiota and the mucosal-associated regulatory cells in estrogen or sham treated female mice before and after autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) induction. Treatment with pregnancy levels of estrogen induces changes in the composition and diversity of gut microbiota. Additionally, estrogen prevents EAE-associated changes in the gut microbiota and might promote the enrichment of bacteria that are associated with immune regulation. Our results point to a possible cross-talk between the sex hormones and the gut microbiota, which could promote neuroprotection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
StatePublished - Sep 15 2017



  • EAE
  • Estrogen
  • M2-like macrophage/microglia
  • Microbiota
  • Regulatory B cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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