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Dr. Ashu Mangalam’s Laboratory Staff Wins Presentation and Travel Awards for the 2020 Annual Association of Immunology Meeting

March 10, 2020

Samantha Freedman, Ashu Mangalam and Shailesh Shahi

Dr. Shailesh Shahi was awarded a podium presentation and American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Trainee Travel Award to present his findings entitled “Microbiota-driven regulatory T cells suppress experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in interleukin-17A deficient HLA class-II transgenic mice as a model of multiple sclerosis (MS)” at the upcoming AAI meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. Dr. Shahi and colleagues have revealed IL17A regulates disease in an HLA class-II transgenic mouse model of MS by inducing CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ T regulatory (Treg) cells. Additionally, the study showed IL17A deficient mice had altered gut microbiota with increases in Treg-promoting bacteria (Lactobacillus and Clostridia). The overall findings suggest gut microbiota changes resulting from the absence of IL17A induce Treg and suppress disease in an animal model of MS by modulating the host-bacterial dynamics via PRR-PAMPS interactions.

Samantha Freedman received an AAI Trainee Travel Award and will present her poster titled “Isoflavone Rich Diet Ameliorates Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) through Modulation of Gut Bacteria Depleted in Multiple Sclerosis Patients” at the upcoming AAI meeting as well. Samantha and colleagues demonstrated a phytoestrogen-containing diet alters the gut microbiota of mice and protects against central nervous system autoimmunity. This study may provide insights into preventive and therapeutic strategies for MS patients.