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Gut microbiome has far-reaching effects on how our bodies work: study

Health & FitnessGut microbiome has far-reaching effects on how our bodies work: study

One study suggested that trillions Microbes which usually reside within us. Intestinesknown as the gut microbiome, have far-reaching effects on the way our bodies function. Members of this microbial community, among other things, produce vitamins, aid in digestion, inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, and Immunity. According to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, a new study has revealed that the gut microbiome also plays an important role in our brain health. (Also read: Researchers reveal the health benefits of tomatoes for gut microbes. )

The study, in mice, found that gut bacteria — in part by producing compounds such as short-chain fatty acids — influence the behavior of immune cells throughout the body, including those in the brain that can damage brain tissue and conditions. May increase neurodegeneration. such as Alzheimer’s disease. The findings, published Jan. 13 in the journal Science, open up the possibility of reshaping the gut microbiome as a way to prevent or treat neurodegeneration.

“We gave young mice antibiotics for just one week, and we saw changes in their gut microbiome, their immune response, and how much neurodegeneration related to a protein called tau,” said senior author David M. Holtzman. ” said senior author David M. Holtzman. MD, the Barbara Burton and Ruben M. Morris III Distinguished Professor of Neurology. “What’s interesting is that manipulating the gut microbiome may be a way to influence the brain without directly injecting something into the brain.”

Evidence is accumulating that the gut microbiome in people with Alzheimer’s disease may differ from that in healthy people. But it’s unclear whether these differences are a cause or consequence of disease — or both — and what effect altering the microbiome might have during disease.

To determine whether the gut microbiome was playing a causative role, the researchers altered the gut microbiome of mice predisposed to develop Alzheimer’s-like brain damage and cognitive impairment. The mice were genetically modified to express a mutant form of the human brain protein tau, which damaged and damaged neurons in their brains and atrophied by 9 months of age. They also had a variant of the human APOE gene, an important genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s. People with one copy of the APOE4 variant are three to four times more likely to develop the disease than people with the more common APOE3 variant.

Along with Holtzman, the research team included gut microbiome expert and co-author Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor and director of the Addison Family Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology. First author Dong-Oh Seo, PhD, instructor in neurology; and co-author Sangram S. Sisodia, PhD, professor of neurobiology at the University of Chicago.

When such genetically modified mice were raised in sterile conditions from birth, they did not acquire the gut microbiome, and their brains had a normal mouse microbiome at 40 weeks of age. The brains of the sheltered mice were much less damaged.

When such mice were raised under normal, sterile conditions, they developed a normal microbiome. However, a course of antibiotics at 2 weeks of age permanently changed the composition of bacteria in their microbiome. For male mice, it also reduced the amount of brain damage that was evident at 40 weeks of age. The protective effects of microbiome shifts were more pronounced in male mice carrying the APOE3 variant than in mice with the high-risk APOE4variant, possibly because the deleterious effects of APOE4 abrogated some of the protection, the researchers said. said Antibiotic treatment had no significant effect on neurodegeneration in female mice.

“We already know from studies of brain tumors, normal brain development and related topics that immune cells in the brains of men and women respond very differently to stimuli,” Holtzman said. “So it’s not surprising that we saw a sex difference in response when we manipulated the microbiome, although it’s hard to say what that means for men and women with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Is.”

Further experiments linked three specific short-chain fatty acids — compounds produced by certain types of gut bacteria as a byproduct of their metabolism — to neurodegeneration. All three fatty acids were rare in mice with a gut microbiome altered by antibiotic treatment, and undetectable in mice without a gut microbiome.

These short-chain fatty acids appear to trigger neurodegeneration by activating immune cells in the bloodstream, which in turn activate immune cells in the brain to damage brain tissue. When middle-aged mice without microbiomes were fed three short-chain fatty acids, their brain immune cells became more reactive, and their brains showed more signs of tau-related damage.

“This study may offer important insights into how the microbiome affects tau-mediated neurodegeneration, and may suggest treatments that target intestinal cancer,” said Linda McGovern, program director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders. alter microbes that may influence the onset or progression of neurodegenerative disorders.” and Stroke (NINDS), which provided some funding for the study.

The findings suggest a new approach to preventing and treating neurodegenerative diseases by modifying the gut microbiome with antibiotics, probiotics, special diets or other means.

“What I want to know is, if you genetically engineered mice to develop a neurodegenerative disease, and you manipulated the microbiome before the animals showed signs of damage, would you Can slow or prevent neurodegeneration?” Holtzman asked. “This would be like starting treatment in late middle age in someone who is still cognitively normal but on the verge of developing a disorder. If we can develop these types of genetically susceptible adult animal models of neurodegeneration, If we can start treatment before it appears, and show that it works, that might be something we can test in people.”

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This story was published without editing the text from a wire agency feed. Only the title has been changed.


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