The gut microbiome is composed of an enormous number of microorganisms, generally regarded as commensal bacteria. Resident gut bacteria are an important contributor to health and significant evidence suggests that the presence of healthy and diverse gut microbiota is important for normal cognitive and emotional processing. Here we measured the expression of monoamine neurotransmitter-related genes in the hippocampus of germ-free (GF) mice and specific-pathogen-free (SPF) mice to explore the effect of gut microbiota on hippocampal monoamine functioning. In total, 19 differential expressed genes (Htr7, Htr1f, Htr3b, Drd3, Ddc, Maob, Tdo2, Fos, Creb1, Akt1, Gsk3a, Pik3ca, Pla2g5, Cyp2d22, Grk6, Ephb1, Slc18a1, Nr4a1, Gdnf) that could discriminate between the two groups were identified. Interestingly, GF mice displayed anxiolytic-like behavior compared to SPF mice, which were not reversed by colonization with gut microbiota from SPF mice. Besides, colonization of adolescent GF mice by gut microbiota was not sufficient to reverse the altered gene expression associated with their GF status.
Read more at: Journal of the Neurological Sciences