Microbiota-brain interactions: Moving toward mechanisms in model organisms

Thumbnail Image
Nagpal, Jatin
Cryan, John F.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Elsevier Inc.
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Changes in the microbiota are associated with alterations in nervous system structure-function and behavior and have been implicated in the etiology of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Most of these studies have centered on mammalian models due to their phylogenetic proximity to humans. Indeed, the germ-free mouse has been a particularly useful model organism for investigating microbiota-brain interactions. However, microbiota-brain axis research on simpler genetic model organisms with a vast and diverse scientific toolkit (zebrafish, Drosophila melanogaster, and Caenorhabditis elegans) is now also coming of age. In this review, we summarize the current state of microbiota-brain axis research in rodents and humans, and then we elaborate and discuss recent research on the neurobiological and behavioral effects of the microbiota in the model systems of fish, flies, and worms. We propose that a cross-species, holistic and mechanistic approach to unravel the microbiota-brain communication is an essential step toward rational microbiota-based therapeutics to combat brain disorders.
Gut microbiota , Intestinal microbiota , Commensal bacteria , Social behaviour , Stress response , Nervous system , Animal models , Drosophila , Host , Zebrafish
Nagpal, J. and Cryan, J. F. (2021) 'Microbiota-brain interactions: Moving toward mechanisms in model organisms', Neuron, 109(24), pp.3930-3953. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2021.09.036