Gutsy moves: the amygdala as a critical node in microbiota to brain signaling

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Cowan, Caitlin S. M.
Hoban, Alan E.
Ventura-Silva, Ana Paula
Dinan, Timothy G.
Clarke, Gerard
Cryan, John F.
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The amygdala is a key brain area regulating responses to stress and emotional stimuli, so improving our understanding of how it is regulated could offer novel strategies for treating disturbances in emotion regulation. As we review here, a growing body of evidence indicates that the gut microbiota may contribute to a range of amygdala-dependent brain functions from pain sensitivity to social behavior, emotion regulation, and therefore, psychiatric health. In addition, it appears that the microbiota is necessary for normal development of the amygdala at both the structural and functional levels. While further investigations are needed to elucidate the exact mechanisms of microbiota-to-amygdala communication, ultimately, this work raises the intriguing possibility that the gut microbiota may become a viable treatment target in disorders associated with amygdala dysregulation, including visceral pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and beyond.
Anxiety , Fear , Gut-brain axis , Limbic system , Pain , Social behavior , Stress
Cowan, C. S. M., Hoban, A. E., Ventura-Silva, A. P., Dinan, T. G., Clarke, G. and Cryan, J. F. 'Gutsy Moves: The Amygdala as a Critical Node in Microbiota to Brain Signaling', BioEssays, 1700172 (12pp), In Press. doi:10.1002/bies.201700172
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