At the end of past century, when the prevailing view was that treatment of autoimmunity required immune suppression, experimental evidence suggested an approach of immune-stimulation such as with the BCG vaccine in type 1 diabetes (T1D) and multiple sclerosis (MS). Translating these basic studies into clinical trials, we showed the following: BCG harnessed the immune system to ‘permanently’ lower blood sugar, even in advanced T1D; BCG appeared to delay the disease progression in early MS; the effects were long-lasting (years after vaccination) in both diseases. The recently demonstrated capacity of BCG to boost glycolysis may explain both the improvement of metabolic indexes in T1D, and the more efficient generation of inducible regulatory T cells, which counteract the autoimmune attack and foster repair mechanisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy