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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2012 Nov;10(11):735-42. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2876. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

The interplay between the intestinal microbiota and the brain.

Author information

1
Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton L8N 3Z5, Ontario, Canada. scollins@mcmaster.ca

Abstract

The intestinal microbiota consists of a vast bacterial community that resides primarily in the lower gut and lives in a symbiotic relationship with the host. A bidirectional neurohumoral communication system, known as the gut-brain axis, integrates the host gut and brain activities. Here, we describe the recent advances in our understanding of how the intestinal microbiota communicates with the brain via this axis to influence brain development and behaviour. We also review how this extended communication system might influence a broad spectrum of diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome, psychiatric disorders and demyelinating conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

PMID:
23000955
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro2876
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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