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Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 19;6:33726. doi: 10.1038/srep33726.

Lactobacillus plantarum attenuates anxiety-related behavior and protects against stress-induced dysbiosis in adult zebrafish.

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Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65201, USA.
Center for Host-Microbial Interactions, Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
University of Missouri Metagenomics Center (MUMC), University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65201, USA.


The consumption of probiotics has become increasingly popular as a means to try to improve health and well-being. Not only are probiotics considered beneficial to digestive health, but increasing evidence suggests direct and indirect interactions between gut microbiota (GM) and the central nervous system (CNS). Here, adult zebrafish were supplemented with Lactobacillus plantarum to determine the effects of probiotic treatment on structural and functional changes of the GM, as well as host neurological and behavioral changes. L. plantarum administration altered the β-diversity of the GM while leaving the major core architecture intact. These minor structural changes were accompanied by significant enrichment of several predicted metabolic pathways. In addition to GM modifications, L. plantarum treatment also significantly reduced anxiety-related behavior and altered GABAergic and serotonergic signaling in the brain. Lastly, L. plantarum supplementation provided protection against stress-induced dysbiosis of the GM. These results underscore the influence commensal microbes have on physiological function in the host, and demonstrate bidirectional communication between the GM and the host.

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