Food and Behaviour Research

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Microbiota modulate behavioral and physiological abnormalities associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Hsiao EY, McBride SW, Hsien S, Sharon G, Hyde ER, McCue T, Codelli JA, Chow J, Reisman SE, Petrosino JF, Patterson PH, Mazmanian SK (2013) Cell 155(7) 1451-63 Elsevier Inc

Web URL: Please find the OPEN ACCESS paper and related research on PubMed here


Neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are defined by core behavioral impairments; however, subsets of individuals display a spectrum of gastrointestinal (GI) abnormalities.

We demonstrate GI barrier defects and 
microbiota alterations in the maternal immune activation (MIA) mouse model that is known to display features of ASD.

Oral treatment of MIA offspring with the human commensal Bacteroides fragilis corrects gut permeability, alters microbial composition, and ameliorates defects in communicative, stereotypic, anxiety-like and sensorimotor behaviors.

MIA offspring display an altered serum metabolomic profile, and B. fragilis modulates levels of several metabolites.

Treating naive mice with a metabolite that is increased by MIA and restored by B. fragilis causes certain 
behavioral abnormalities, suggesting that gut bacterial effects on the host metabolome impact behavior.

Taken together, these findings support a gut-microbiome-brain connection in a mouse model of ASD and identify a potential probiotic therapy for GI and particular 
behavioral symptoms in human neurodevelopmental disorders.