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Curr Environ Health Rep. 2018 Mar;5(1):158-169. doi: 10.1007/s40572-018-0186-z.

Environmental Exposures and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: What Role Does the Gut-Immune-Brain Axis Play?

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, 10032, USA.
2
Center for Infection and Immunity, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, 722 W 168th St, Rm 1706, New York, NY, 10032, USA. mady.hornig@columbia.edu.
3
Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, 722 W 168th St, Rm 1706, New York, NY, 10032, USA. mady.hornig@columbia.edu.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Evidence is growing that environmental exposures-including xenobiotics as well as microbes-play a role in the pathogenesis of many neuropsychiatric disorders. Underlying mechanisms are likely to be complex, involving the developmentally sensitive interplay of genetic/epigenetic, detoxification, and immune factors. Here, we review evidence supporting a role for environmental factors and disrupted gut-immune-brain axis function in some neuropsychiatric conditions.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Studies suggesting the involvement of an altered microbiome in triggering CNS-directed autoimmunity and neuropsychiatric disturbances are presented as an intriguing example of the varied mechanisms by which environmentally induced gut-immune-brain axis dysfunction may contribute to adverse brain outcomes. The gut-immune-brain axis is a burgeoning frontier for investigation of neuropsychiatric illness. Future translational research to define individual responses to exogenous exposures in terms of microbiome-dependent skew of the metabolome, immunity, and brain function may serve as a lens for illumination of pathways involved in the development of CNS disease and fuel discovery of novel interventions.

KEYWORDS:

Autoantibodies; Gut–immune–brain axis; Immunity; Microbiome; Neuropsychiatric disorders

PMID:
29423662
DOI:
10.1007/s40572-018-0186-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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