Food and Behaviour Research

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Microbiota modulate behavioral and physiological abnormalities associated with neurodevelopmental disorders

Hsiao EY, McBride SW, Hsien S, Sharon G, Hyde ER, McCue T, Codelli JA, Chow J, Reisman SE, Petrosino JF, Patterson PH, Mazmanian SK (2013) Cell. 2013 Dec 19;155(7):1451-63. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.11.024. Epub 2013 Dec 5   

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here

Abstract:

Neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are defined by core behavioral impairments; however, subsets of individuals display a spectrum of gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities.

We demonstrate GI barrier defects and microbiota alterations in the maternal immune activation (MIA) mouse model that is known to display features of ASD.

Oral treatment of MIA offspring with the human commensal Bacteroides fragilis corrects gut permeability, alters microbial composition, and ameliorates defects in communicative, stereotypic, anxiety-like and sensorimotor behaviors.

MIA offspring display an altered serum metabolomic profile, and B. fragilis modulates levels of several metabolites. Treating naive mice with a metabolite that is increased by MIA and restored by B. fragilis causes certain behavioral abnormalities, suggesting that gut bacterial effects on the host metabolome impact behavior.

Taken together, these findings support a gut-microbiome-brain connection in a mouse model of ASD and identify a potential probiotic therapy for GI and particular behavioral symptoms in human neurodevelopmental disorders.

FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:

For an accessible news summary of this research, see: 

Autism-like behaviors in mice alleviated by probiotic therapy

And on the FAB Youtube channel, you can find a short video of the TedX talk given by lead author, Elaine Hsaio, on this research and its implications.

Mind-altering microbes: how the microbiome affects brain and behavior: Elaine Hsiao at TEDxCaltech