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Cell Rep. 2016 May 31;15(9):1945-56. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.04.074. Epub 2016 May 19.

Ly6C(hi) Monocytes Provide a Link between Antibiotic-Induced Changes in Gut Microbiota and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis.

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Institute of Medical Microbiology, University of Magdeburg, 39106 Magdeburg, Germany.
Department of Cellular Neuroscience, Max-Delbrueck-Center for Molecular Medicine, 13125 Berlin, Germany.
Charité - University Medicine Berlin, Department of Microbiology and Hygiene, 14195 Berlin, Germany.
Department of Neurosciences at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA; Department of Pediatrics, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
Ghost Lab, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892-9760, USA.
Department of Cellular Neuroscience, Max-Delbrueck-Center for Molecular Medicine, 13125 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:


Antibiotics, though remarkably useful, can also cause certain adverse effects. We detected that treatment of adult mice with antibiotics decreases hippocampal neurogenesis and memory retention. Reconstitution with normal gut flora (SPF) did not completely reverse the deficits in neurogenesis unless the mice also had access to a running wheel or received probiotics. In parallel to an increase in neurogenesis and memory retention, both SPF-reconstituted mice that ran and mice supplemented with probiotics exhibited higher numbers of Ly6C(hi) monocytes in the brain than antibiotic-treated mice. Elimination of Ly6C(hi) monocytes by antibody depletion or the use of knockout mice resulted in decreased neurogenesis, whereas adoptive transfer of Ly6C(hi) monocytes rescued neurogenesis after antibiotic treatment. We propose that the rescue of neurogenesis and behavior deficits in antibiotic-treated mice by exercise and probiotics is partially mediated by Ly6C(hi) monocytes.

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