Study exposes a new dynamic between the mammalian organism and the microbes that live inside their gut.
Two new studies published in PNAS suggest gut microbes may play a key role in the neurodegeneration associated with multiple sclerosis. The findings could help researchers identify new therapies to help treat the autoimmune disease, such as dietary changes and drugs based on microbial byproducts.
Researchers report a link between gut bacteria and psychological distress associated with obesity. Switching mice to high fat diets, researchers reported the animals experienced more depressive and anxiety symptoms. These were improved when antibiotics that alter the gut bacteria were administered.
Researchers report infants who are allergic to cow milk have a different composition of gut microbes than those who are not allergic to the milk. Transplanting gut microbes from those with no allergies helped to protect against potentially life threatening reactions. The study suggests gut microbes impact the host's immune system and play a critical role in regulating allergic responses to food.
Researchers have isolated a molecule that may be under-produced in the gut of those with ALS. Using mouse models of the disease, researchers identified 11 microbial strains that became altered as the disease progressed, or before the development of symptoms.
In mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders, researchers found social deficits were mediated by microbes in the gut. By contrast, hyperactivity is controlled by genetics. Treatment with a specific microbe helped improve social behavior.
A new review of almost 200 publications suggests the gut microbiota may play a critical role in modulating brain function, social behavior and other symptoms of autism.