Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Bioessays. 2011 Aug;33(8):588-91. doi: 10.1002/bies.201100042. Epub 2011 Jun 16.

It takes guts to grow a brain: Increasing evidence of the important role of the intestinal microflora in neuro- and immune-modulatory functions during development and adulthood.

Author information

  • 1Center for Autoimmune and Musculoskeletal Diseases, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Manhasset, NY, USA.


A new study entitled "Normal gut microbiota modulates brain development and behavior", published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, requires that we reconsider the notion that the brain is an immune-privileged site. The authors demonstrate that intestinal microbiota must be present within a set time-frame for normal synaptogenesis to occur in the brain. In the absence of intestinal microbiota, histopathological and behavioral abnormalities arise. These observations necessitate a new look at the many interconnections of the immune system and the brain, suggesting new frontiers for research and new therapeutic strategies for neurodevelopmental diseases.

Copyright © 2011 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk