Author(s): Hucke S, Eschborn M, Liebmann M, Herold M, Freise N,
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Abstract The increasing incidence in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) during the last decades in industrialized countries might be linked to a change in dietary habits. Nowadays, enhanced salt content is an important characteristic of Western diet and increased dietary salt (NaCl) intake promotes pathogenic T cell responses contributing to central nervous system (CNS) autoimmunity. Given the importance of macrophage responses for CNS disease propagation, we addressed the influence of salt consumption on macrophage responses in CNS autoimmunity. We observed that EAE-diseased mice receiving a NaCl-high diet showed strongly enhanced macrophage infiltration and activation within the CNS accompanied by disease aggravation during the effector phase of EAE. NaCl treatment of macrophages elicited a strong pro-inflammatory phenotype characterized by enhanced pro-inflammatory cytokine production, increased expression of immune-stimulatory molecules, and an antigen-independent boost of T cell proliferation. This NaCl-induced pro-inflammatory macrophage phenotype was accompanied by increased activation of NF-kB and MAPK signaling pathways. The pathogenic relevance of NaCl-conditioned macrophages is illustrated by the finding that transfer into EAE-diseased animals resulted in significant disease aggravation compared to untreated macrophages. Importantly, also in human monocytes, NaCl promoted a pro-inflammatory phenotype that enhanced human T cell proliferation. Taken together, high dietary salt intake promotes pro-inflammatory macrophages that aggravate CNS autoimmunity. Together with other studies, these results underline the need to further determine the relevance of increased dietary salt intake for MS disease severity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Autoimmun
and referenced in Journal of Community & Public Health Nursing