The Impact of Microbiota on Brain and Behavior: Mechanisms & Therapeutic Potential

  • Yuliya E. Borre
  • Rachel D. Moloney
  • Gerard Clarke
  • Timothy G. Dinan
  • John F. CryanEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 817)


There is increasing evidence that host-microbe interactions play a key role in maintaining homeostasis. Alterations in gut microbial composition is associated with marked changes in behaviors relevant to mood, pain and cognition, establishing the critical importance of the bi-directional pathway of communication between the microbiota and the brain in health and disease. Dysfunction of the microbiome-brain-gut axis has been implicated in stress-related disorders such as depression, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. Bacterial colonization of the gut is central to postnatal development and maturation of key systems that have the capacity to influence central nervous system (CNS) programming and signaling, including the immune and endocrine systems. Moreover, there is now expanding evidence for the view that enteric microbiota plays a role in early programming and later response to acute and chronic stress. This view is supported by studies in germ-free mice and in animals exposed to pathogenic bacterial infections, probiotic agents or antibiotics. Although communication between gut microbiota and the CNS are not fully elucidated, neural, hormonal, immune and metabolic pathways have been suggested. Thus, the concept of a microbiome-brain-gut axis is emerging, suggesting microbiota-modulating strategies may be a tractable therapeutic approach for developing novel treatments for CNS disorders.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Brain Derive Neurotrophic Factor Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Intestinal Microbiota Neurodevelopmental Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.





Antigen presenting cell


Autism spectrum disorder


Brain derived neurotrophic factor


Central nervous system


Dendritic cell


Docosahexaenoic acid


Dextran sodium sulphate


Enteroendocrine cells


Enterochromaffin cells


Enteric nervous system


Eicosapentaenoic acid


Gamma-aminobutyric acid


Gut-associated lymphoid tissues




Histone deacetylase


Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis


Irritable bowel syndrome




N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor


Neuropeptide Y


Short chain fatty acid


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor


Tricyclic antidepressant


Tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase


The regulatory T cells


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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuliya E. Borre
    • 1
  • Rachel D. Moloney
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gerard Clarke
    • 3
  • Timothy G. Dinan
    • 2
  • John F. Cryan
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of NeuroGastroenterology, Alimentary Pharmabiotic CentreUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Laboratory of NeuroGastroenterology Alimentary Pharmabiotic CentreUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  4. 4.Department of Anatomy and NeuroscienceUniversity College CorkCorkIreland

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