The gut microbiome and pharmacology: a prescription for therapeutic targeting of the gut-brain axis.


Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioural Science, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland; APC Microbiome Ireland, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland; INFANT Research Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. Electronic address: [Email]


New frontiers for host-microbe interactions continue to emerge as our knowledge of the adult gut microbiome in health and disease is continually supplemented and improved. Alterations in the gut microbiota composition in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are now linked to symptom severity while population-based evidence linking gut microbiome signatures to depression is an important new landmark. The effects of drugs on gut microbiome composition are also becoming clearer. Meanwhile, preclinical studies have delineated the influence of the gut microbiome at a structural and activity level in distinct brain regions. Bacterial metabolites, such as tryptamine, can activate specific receptors to impact gastrointestinal motility. These recent studies bring into focus the future implications for therapeutic targeting of the microbiome-gut-brain axis.

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