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Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2016 Jul;56 Suppl:S44-55. doi: 10.1016/j.domaniend.2016.05.003.

The gut microbiome as a virtual endocrine organ with implications for farm and domestic animal endocrinology.

Author information

1
Department of Biosciences, Teagasc Moorepark Food Research Centre, Fermoy, Cork, Ireland; APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland; Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
2
APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland; College of Science Engineering and Food Science, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
3
Department of Biosciences, Teagasc Moorepark Food Research Centre, Fermoy, Cork, Ireland; APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland; Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Science, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
4
APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland; Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Science, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. Electronic address: G.Clarke@ucc.ie.

Abstract

The gut microbiome exerts a marked influence on host physiology, and manipulation of its composition has repeatedly been shown to influence host metabolism and body composition. This virtual endocrine organ also has a role in the regulation of the plasma concentrations of tryptophan, an essential amino acid and precursor to serotonin, a key neurotransmitter within both the enteric and central nervous systems. Control over the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis also appears to be under the influence of the gut microbiota. This is clear from studies in microbiota-deficient germ-free animals with exaggerated responses to psychological stress that can be normalized by monocolonization with certain bacterial species including Bifidobacterium infantis. Therapeutic targeting of the gut microbiota may thus be useful in treating or preventing stress-related microbiome-gut-brain axis disorders and metabolic diseases, much the same way as redirections of metabolopathies can be achieved through more traditional endocrine hormone-based interventions. Moreover, the implications of these findings need to be considered in the context of farm and domestic animal physiology, behavior, and food safety.

KEYWORDS:

Animal; Behavior; Endocrinology; Gut microbiome; Stress; Tryptophan

PMID:
27345323
DOI:
10.1016/j.domaniend.2016.05.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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