gut-brain axis

This shows a drawing of bacteria

Gut bacteria influence autism-like behaviors in mice

Using germ-free mouse models, researchers transplanted fecal bacteria from children on the autism spectrum and neurotypical children. Mice who received the transplants from the ASD cohort began to exhibit autism-like behaviors, whereas the mice who received transplants from typically developing children did not. Additionally, the mice showed altered gene expression in their brains and differences in types of metabolites present. In particular, the ASD mice had lower levels of 5AV and taurine. Findings suggest gut microbiota regulates autism-like behaviors via the production of neuroactive metabolites, providing further evidence for the gut-brain axis connection to the pathology of autism.... Read More...
This shows a diagram of the gut

Bacteria in fermented food signal the human immune system, explaining health benefits

A metabolite produced by lactic acid bacteria binds to the third hydroxycarboxylic acid receptor (HCA), signalling the immune system. Researchers believe the receptor evolved to allow great apes to consume foods that were starting to decay. They suggest the receptor could mediate some beneficial and anti-inflammatory effects of lactic acid in humans, and could serve as a target to treat inflammatory diseases.... Read More...
This shows slides from the study

How stressed-out gut bacteria may trigger autoimmune response

Chronic social stress in mice induces the expression of virulent genes in the gut microbiota. The altered microbiota increases the presence of effector T helper cells in the lymph nodes and induces myelin autoreactive cells. Exposure to chronic stress, therefore, may increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases for some individuals with a susceptibility.... Read More...
This shows a person holding his tummy as if in pain

Study explains why a moody gut often accompanies depression

Mice with a genetic mutation linked to severe depression had impaired ability for neurons in the gut and brain to create serotonin. The reduction of serotonin in the gut led to a deterioration in the gut's lining, slowing the movement of contents through the GI tract and resulting in constipation. However, treatment with 5-HTP increased neurogenesis in the gut, restoring normal function.... Read More...
This shows a brain and a stomach

Autism symptoms reduced nearly 50% two years after fecal transplant

Arizona State University researchers claim microbiota transfer therapy reduces symptoms associated with autism and gastrointestinal problems for two years post-treatment. The study suggests MTT may be a promising option for helping to treat children with ASD who also have GI problems. The researchers stress further research, including double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trials with a larger cohort be carried out. ... Read More...