Pomegranate peel extract ameliorates the severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis via modulation of gut microbiota.
Gut Microbes. 2020 Nov 9 ;12(1):1857515. PMID: 33382357
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a CNS autoimmune disease characterized by demyelination and inflammatory infiltration with a high disability rate. Increasing evidence has demonstrated the importance of gut microbiota as an environmental risk factor in MS and its animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Diet is the main determinant of gut microbiota composition and function, which greatly affects the shaping of microbial structure. Pomegranate peel, a waste product in the production of juice, is rich in health-promoting compounds. However, its individual constituents, immunoregulatory activities, and action associated with bacterial diversity in the gut microbiota are largely unknown. Here, the main nutrient ingredients of pomegranate peel extract (PPE) were identified as phenols, flavonoids, amino acids, carbohydrates, fatty acids, lipids, nucleotides, organic acids, alcohols, and vitamins via metabolomics evaluation. We found, for the first time, oral PPE (100 mg/kg/day) not only effectively relieves EAE, inhibits CNS inflammatory factor infiltration and myelin loss, but also reshapes gut microbiota. Furthermore, recipient EAE mice with fecal transplantation from the PPE-treated donor delayed the disease development significantly. 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed the increased gut microbiota richness in PPE-treated group. Among them, Lactobacillaceae enriched significantly, while Alcaligenaceae and Acidaminococcacea decreased remarkably. In conclusion, our data demonstrated that gut microbiota mediated the beneficial effects of oral PPE on EAE, and provided new ideas for developing the prebiotic value of pomegranate peel for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.