Prof Caroline Pot
Group leader, consultant neurology
Head of the Laboratory of Experimental Neuroimmunology - LNIE
Laboratoire de neuroimmunologie expérimentale - LNIE
Affiliation: Service of Neurology (NLG), Service of immunology and allergy (LIA)
Keywords: Neuroimmunology, Experimental autoimmune, Multiple sclerosis, Immunometabolism, Lipidic pathways, Gut-brain axis
The aims of Caroline Pot’s research is to fine-tune immune responses in regards to environmental factors or metabolic pathways. This could lead to novel therapeutics and contribute to scientific re-evaluations of life-changes thus promoting personalized medical approaches for MS patients.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder affecting young patients. MS and its animal model, the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), are characterized by inflammatory cell infiltrates and demyelination of the central nervous system. While risk factors such as viral infections and smoking are established, the role of cholesterol metabolism, mucosal immunology and nutrition remains unclear. In our laboratory, we study the role of the gut-brain axis and lipid metabolism during neuroinflammation. We propose that the gut is a reservoir for immune cells and showed that blocking encephalitogenic T cell entry into the gut dampens EAE. Furthermore, perturbation of steroids pathways promote inflammation. We show that oxysterols, oxidized forms of cholesterol, shape the immune responses during inflammatory diseases including colitis and MS. However the sole hypercholesterolemia is not sufficient to promote EAE and lowering cholesterol levels with PCSK9- inhibitors does not modify EAE disease course. We finally translate our murine results to human MS research and conduct translational studies to understand how nutrition and gut flora as well as lipid metabolism affect MS.