Monday, April 18, 2022

How the gut talks to the brain.

Gabanyi et al. show that bacterial cell wall molecules that travel to the brain could trigger a host of behaviors. Here is the abstract of a Perspectives essay on this work by Adamantidis:
The mammalian gastrointestinal tract hosts a community of diverse micro-organisms, including bacteria, archea, fungi, and viruses. Bacterial products, such as metabolites and cell wall fragments, are implicated in host metabolic functions. In addition, the gut microbiota influences the immune and central nervous systems, and it has emerged as a key regulator of brain development and the modulation of behaviors, including stress and anxiety, often in a sex-specific manner. Disruption of gut microbiota–brain interactions contribute to the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders in animal models. ...Gabanyi et al. show that bacterial peptidoglycans, a by-product of bacterial cell wall degradation during cell division and cell death, directly inhibit the activity of feeding-promoting neurons in the hypothalamus and ultimately decrease appetite and body temperature, mostly in female mice. This finding may open new approaches for the treatment of metabolic disorders, including obesity.

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