In countries with high standard of living, lowered risk of infectious diseases is parallel to increased incidence of autoimmune diseases. One of the autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, affects genetically susceptible individuals. Genetic susceptibility is supposed to interact with lifestyle and environmental factors in developing autoimmunity in MS. From this point of view, epigenetics provides the bridge between the external environment and the internal genetic system. In MS, environmental burden can modulate gene expression by epigenetic modification of chromatin components, microRNAs or by subtle changes in DNA methylation. Our paper focuses on describing the epigenetic mechanisms linking environmental factors with pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. We summarise current knowledge about the role of over-nutrition and obesity as epigenetic factors in multiple sclerosis.
Part of the book: Trending Topics in Multiple Sclerosis