Serotonin type 3 receptor subunit gene polymorphisms associated with psychosomatic symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome: A multicenter retrospective study.
World journal of gastroenterology. 2022;(21):2334-2349
BACKGROUND Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the serotonin type 3 receptor subunit (HTR3) genes have been associated with psychosomatic symptoms, but it is not clear whether these associations exist in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). AIM: To assess the association of HTR3 polymorphisms with depressive, anxiety, and somatization symptoms in individuals with IBS. METHODS In this retrospective study, 623 participants with IBS were recruited from five specialty centers in Germany, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Depressive, anxiety, and somatization symptoms and sociodemographic characteristics were collected. Four functional SNPs - HTR3A c.-42C>T, HTR3B c.386A>C, HTR3C c.489C>A, and HTR3E c.*76G>A - were genotyped and analyzed using the dominant and recessive models. We also performed separate analyses for sex and IBS subtypes. SNP scores were calculated as the number of minor alleles of the SNPs above. The impact of HTR3C c.489C>A was tested by radioligand-binding and calcium influx assays. RESULTS Depressive and anxiety symptoms significantly worsened with increasing numbers of minor HTR3C c.489C>A alleles in the dominant model (F depressive = 7.475, P depressive = 0.006; F anxiety = 6.535, P anxiety = 0.011). A higher SNP score (range 0-6) was linked to a worsened depressive symptoms score (F = 7.710, P-linear trend = 0.006) in IBS. The potential relevance of the HTR3C SNP was corroborated, showing changes in the expression level of 5-HT3AC variant receptors. CONCLUSION We have provided the first evidence that HTR3C c.489C>A is involved in depressive and anxiety symptoms in individuals with IBS. The SNP score indicated that an increasing number of minor alleles is linked to the worsening of depressive symptoms in IBS.
Gut Microbes and Neuropathology: Is There a Causal Nexus?
Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland). 2022;(7)
The gut microbiota is a virtual organ which produces a myriad of molecules that the brain and other organs require. Humans and microbes are in a symbiotic relationship, we feed the microbes, and in turn, they provide us with essential molecules. Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes phyla account for around 80% of the total human gut microbiota, and approximately 1000 species of bacteria have been identified in the human gut. In adults, the main factors influencing microbiota structure are diet, exercise, stress, disease and medications. In this narrative review, we explore the involvement of the gut microbiota in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and autism, as these are such high-prevalence disorders. We focus on preclinical studies that increase the understanding of disease pathophysiology. We examine the potential for targeting the gut microbiota in the development of novel therapies and the limitations of the currently published clinical studies. We conclude that while the field shows enormous promise, further large-scale studies are required if a causal link between these disorders and gut microbes is to be definitively established.
Personalized Nutrition for Depression: Impact on the Unholy Trinity.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a chronic affective disorder that has a strong neuroinflammatory component underpinning its etiology. Recent studies indicate that MDD is also associated with changes in the gut microbiota and that the latter is mainly modulated by diet. Microbiota-based personalized nutrition aims to provide an individual-specific diet that will yield the maximum benefit from a given diet since the gut microbiota is accounted for the variations that individuals present in response to a given food. In this review, we present and discuss 5 possible outcomes of using microbiota-based personalized nutrition. Harnessing this approach is essential to design more accurate therapies to prevent and treat MDD or to even help in drug metabolism, especially in the case of antidepressants.
A specific dietary fibre supplementation improves cognitive performance-an exploratory randomised, placebo-controlled, crossover study.
RATIONALE The impact of the microbiota on the gut-brain axis is increasingly appreciated. A growing body of literature demonstrates that use of dietary fibre and prebiotics can manipulate the microbiota and affect host health. However, the influence on cognition and acute stress response is less well understood. OBJECTIVES The objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of a dietary fibre, polydextrose (PDX), in improving cognitive performance and acute stress responses through manipulation of the gut microbiota in a healthy population. METHODS In this double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, crossover design study, 18 healthy female participants received 12.5 g Litesse®Ultra (> 90% PDX polymer) or maltodextrin for 4 weeks. Cognitive performance, mood, acute stress responses, microbiota composition, and inflammatory markers were assessed pre- and post-intervention. RESULTS PDX improved cognitive flexibility as evidenced by the decrease in the number of errors made in the Intra-Extra Dimensional Set Shift (IED) task. A better performance in sustained attention was observed through higher number of correct responses and rejections in the Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVP) task. Although there was no change in microbial diversity, abundance of Ruminiclostridium 5 significantly increased after PDX supplementation compared with placebo. PDX supplementation attenuated the increase of adhesion receptor CD62L on classical monocytes observed in the placebo group. CONCLUSIONS Supplementation with the PDX resulted in a modest improvement in cognitive performance. The results indicate that PDX could benefit gut-to-brain communication and modulate behavioural responses.
Mining microbes for mental health: Determining the role of microbial metabolic pathways in human brain health and disease.
Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews. 2021;125:698-761
Plain language summary
The microbiota-gut-brain axis is an emerging area of focus for mental health and disease. Metabolic products from gut microbiota exert direct and indirect effects on the brain through various body systems. The aim of this study was to review the evidence on these metabolic pathways and utilise new predictive tools to assess metabolic signatures of various disease states. This review included 278 studies and, despite the weak evidence, identified new links between gut microbial metabolic pathways in schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and anxiety and depression. The authors conclude this review provides a novel approach for understanding the mechanisms behind the bidirectional communication between the gut and brain. They also suggest guidelines for analysing and interpreting metadata of human-microbiome-brain studies and provide a framework for better understanding these metabolic pathways in relation to the brain.
There is increasing knowledge regarding the role of the microbiome in modulating the brain and behaviour. Indeed, the actions of microbial metabolites are key for appropriate gut-brain communication in humans. Among these metabolites, short-chain fatty acids, tryptophan, and bile acid metabolites/pathways show strong preclinical evidence for involvement in various aspects of brain function and behaviour. With the identification of neuroactive gut-brain modules, new predictive tools can be applied to existing datasets. We identified 278 studies relating to the human microbiota-gut-brain axis which included sequencing data. This spanned across psychiatric and neurological disorders with a small number also focused on normal behavioural development. With a consistent bioinformatics pipeline, thirty-five of these datasets were reanalysed from publicly available raw sequencing files and the remainder summarised and collated. Among the reanalysed studies, we uncovered evidence of disease-related alterations in microbial metabolic pathways in Alzheimer's Disease, schizophrenia, anxiety and depression. Amongst studies that could not be reanalysed, many sequencing and technical limitations hindered the discovery of specific biomarkers of microbes or metabolites conserved across studies. Future studies are warranted to confirm our findings. We also propose guidelines for future human microbiome analysis to increase reproducibility and consistency within the field.
In vitro-in vivo Validation of Stimulatory Effect of Oat Ingredients on Lactobacilli.
Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland). 2021;(2)
The prebiotic activity of a commercially available oat product and a novel oat ingredient, at similar β-glucan loads, was tested using a validated in vitro gut model (M-SHIME®). The novel oat ingredient was tested further at lower β-glucan loads in vitro, while the commercially available oat product was assessed in a randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled, and cross-over human study. Both approaches focused on healthy individuals with mild hypercholesterolemia. In vitro analysis revealed that both oat products strongly stimulated Lactobacillaceae and Bifidobacteriaceae in the intestinal lumen and the simulated mucus layer, and corresponded with enhanced levels of acetate and lactate with cross-feeding interactions leading to an associated increase in propionate and butyrate production. The in vitro prebiotic activity of the novel oat ingredient remained at lower β-glucan levels, indicating the prebiotic potential of the novel oat product. Finally, the stimulation of Lactobacillus spp. was confirmed during the in vivo trial, where lactobacilli abundance significantly increased in the overall population at the end of the intervention period with the commercially available oat product relative to the control product, indicating the power of in vitro gut models in predicting in vivo response of the microbial community to dietary modulation.
Production of Psychoactive Metabolites by Gut Bacteria.
Modern trends in psychiatry. 2021;:74-99
The gut microbiome plays a vital role in numerous aspects of physiology, including functions related to metabolism, the immune system, behaviour, brain structure and function. Furthermore, it is now becoming increasingly clear that alterations in microbial composition or diversity are implicated in several disease states, including anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), obesity, and diabetes. Therefore, therapeutic targeting of the gut microbiota has the potential to be useful in the treatment of both stress-related disorders and metabolic diseases. An important method by which the gut microbiome can influence the gut-brain axis is through microbial production of psychoactive metabolites. Several bacteria have been shown to produce metabolites which can impact host health, such as short-chain fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid, antimicrobials, exopolysaccharides, and vitamins. Furthermore, several molecules with neuroactive functions, including serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid, catecholamines, and acetylcholine, have been isolated from bacteria within the human gut. This review aims to explore the psychoactive metabolites reported to be produced by gut bacteria, particularly those of relevance to stress-related disorders. Screening methods for psychoactive metabolite production, as well as the challenges and limitations of this research, will also be addressed. Finally, the implications of metabolite production for neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, and stress, behavioural disorders such as ASD, and neurodegenerative disorders such as AD and PD will be discussed.
Gut Microbiota: A Perspective for Psychiatrists.
There is mounting evidence that the trillions of microbes that inhabit our gut are a substantial contributing factor to mental health and, equally, to the progression of neuropsychiatric disorders. The extraordinary complexity of the gut ecosystem, and how it interacts with the intestinal epithelium to manifest physiological changes in the brain to influence mood and behaviour, has been the subject of intense scientific scrutiny over the last 2 decades. To further complicate matters, we each harbour a unique microbiota community that is subject to change by a number of factors including diet, exercise, stress, health status, genetics, medication, and age, amongst others. The microbiota-gut-brain axis is a dynamic matrix of tissues and organs including the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota, immune cells, gut tissue, glands, the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and the brain that communicate in a complex multidirectional manner through a number of anatomically and physiologically distinct systems. Long-term perturbations to this homeostatic environment may contribute to the progression of a number of disorders by altering physiological processes including hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation, neurotransmitter systems, immune function, and the inflammatory response. While an appropriate, co-ordinated physiological response, such as an immune or stress response, is necessary for survival, a dysfunctional response can be detrimental to the host, contributing to the development of a number of central nervous system disorders.
Man and the Microbiome: A New Theory of Everything?
Annual review of clinical psychology. 2019;:371-398
The gut microbiome is implicated in the pathophysiology of a wide range of psychological disorders. Preclinical studies have provided us with key insights into the mechanisms by which the microbiome influences bidirectional gut-brain communication. There are many signaling pathways involved, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, immune modulation, tryptophan and serotonin metabolism, bile acid transformation, microbial production of neuroactive compounds, and regulation of the endocannabinoid system. The complex and widespread influence of the microbiome on many physiological and psychological processes has generated a keen interest in its therapeutic potential for depression, anxiety, autism, and other psychiatric disorders. It has been shown that the microbiome composition of people suffering with such conditions differs significantly from that of healthy controls, and although the area is in its infancy, interventional studies that alter a person's microbiome through the use of probiotics, prebiotics, or dietary change can alleviate psychopathological symptoms.
The Gut Microbiome and Mental Health: What Should We Tell Our Patients?: Le microbiote Intestinal et la Santé Mentale : que Devrions-Nous dire à nos Patients?
Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie. 2019;64(11):747-760
Plain language summary
The gut-brain axis is the bi-directional communication pathway and increasing evidence indicates its impact in neural health and disease. With the field of nutritional psychiatry actively developing, psychiatric patients have become increasingly aware of the therapeutic use of probiotics and mental health. This review aims to inform psychiatrists about the communication between the microbiome and brain and discuss its relevance to the management and treatment of psychiatric illness. In reviewing the common psychiatric illnesses, the current literature shows inconsistent results on specific microbiome compositions related to specific illnesses, yet shows promising effects for probiotic use in many disorders. These findings offer a novel paradigm for approaching mental illness through the lens of nutritional psychiatry. Authors conclude there is much work to be done translating laboratory findings into clinical practice, and highlight the necessity for clinicians to stay informed of the literature and make accurate recommendations to patients.
The gut microbiome as a potential therapeutic target for mental illness is a hot topic in psychiatry. Trillions of bacteria reside in the human gut and have been shown to play a crucial role in gut-brain communication through an influence on neural, immune, and endocrine pathways. Patients with various psychiatric disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorder have been shown to have significant differences in the composition of their gut microbiome. Enhancing beneficial bacteria in the gut, for example, through the use of probiotics, prebiotics, or dietary change, has the potential to improve mood and reduce anxiety in both healthy people and patient groups. Much attention is being given to this subject in the general media, and patients are becoming increasingly interested in the potential to treat mental illness with microbiome-based therapies. It is imperative that those working with people with mental illness are aware of the rationale and current evidence base for such treatment strategies. In this review, we provide an overview of the gut microbiome, what it is, and what it does in relation to gut-brain communication and psychological function. We describe the fundamental principles and basic techniques used in microbiome-gut-brain axis research in an accessible way for a clinician audience. We summarize the current evidence in relation to microbiome-based strategies for various psychiatric disorders and provide some practical advice that can be given to patients seeking to try a probiotic for mental health benefit.