The Gut-Brain Axis: A Two-Way Street

25 Aug 2015

by Paul Enck

A study by De Palma, et al. used germ-free and specific pathogen-free mouse models to investigate the effects of early-life stress.

In this Nature Medicine news article, Roxanne Khamsi reports on research around the world showing the microbiome exerts an influence on the human immune system. If scientists knew how to control the key process of inflammation, they could profoundly influence the course of disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, and liver disease.

Yava L. Jones-Hall, Ariangela Kozik and Cindy Nakatsu from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, have recently published a paper in PLoS ONE on the role of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and the impact of this pro-inflammatory cytokine on the gut microbiota.

Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is known for exhibiting anti-inflammatory effects in vitro and in vivo by secreted metabolites that block nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation. The low proportion of F. prausnitzii in the microbiome of Crohn’s disease patients characterizes the microbial dysbiosis associated with that condition.

Many disorders are associated with impaired function of the gut barrier. The gut microbiota regulates gut barrier function, and previous research has shown that modulation of gut microbiota shows promise for enhancing barrier integrity.