What is it about?

Propionate is produced naturally in the intestine when fiber is broken down. In previous studies, propionate has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in people with multiple sclerosis. Here, we demonstrated a neuroprotective and regenerative effect of propionate for the peripheral nervous system by targeting the FFAR3 receptor on the surface of nerve and Schwann cells and also modulating gene expression by increasing histone acetylation.

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Why is it important?

Patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) suffer from sensory loss, muscle weakness and pain. Currently available drugs act primarily on the immune system. Here, we show that propionate has neuroprotective and regenerative potential, which could be an additional treatment strategy for patients with CIDP.


Since short-chain fatty acids are naturally produced in the gut, this research provides further insight into how patients can modulate the course of their disease through dietary and lifestyle changes.

Thomas Grüter
Ruhr-Universitat Bochum

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This page is a summary of: Propionate exerts neuroprotective and neuroregenerative effects in the peripheral nervous system, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2216941120.
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