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Eur Psychiatry. 2018 Sep;53:37-45. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2018.05.011. Epub 2018 Jun 2.

Gut microbiome and magnetic resonance spectroscopy study of subjects at ultra-high risk for psychosis may support the membrane hypothesis.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China; Center for Behavioral Genomics, Department of Psychiatry, Institute for Genomic Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
2
Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA 92110, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China.
4
Department of Radiology, Hunan Childen's Hospital, Changsha 410007, China.
5
Center for Behavioral Genomics, Department of Psychiatry, Institute for Genomic Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA; Harvard Institute of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Genetics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
6
Department of Psychiatry, the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China; Mental Health Institute of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China; China National Clinical Research Center on Mental Disorders (Xiangya), Changsha, Hunan 410011, China; China National Technology Institute on Mental Disorders, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China. Electronic address: Chenxiaogang@csu.edu.cn.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The microbiota-gut-brain axis and membrane dysfunction in the brain has attracted increasing attention in the field of psychiatric research. However, the possible interactive role of gut microbiota and brain function in the prodromal stage of schizophrenia has not been studied yet.

METHODS:

To explore this, we collected fecal samples and performed Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) scans in 81 high risk (HR) subjects, 19 ultra-high risk (UHR) subjects and 69 health controls (HC). Then we analyzed the differences in gut microbiota and choline concentrations in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).

RESULTS:

Presences of the orders Clostridiales, Lactobacillales and Bacteroidales were observed at increase levels in fecal samples of UHR subjects compared to the other two groups. The composition changes of gut microbiota indicate the increased production of Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs), which could activate microglia and then disrupt membrane metabolism. Furthermore, this was confirmed by an increase of choline levels, a brain imaging marker of membrane dysfunction, which is also significantly elevated in UHR subjects compared to the HR and HC groups.

CONCLUSION:

Both gut microbiome and imaging studies of UHR subjects suggest the membrane dysfunction in the brain and hence might support the membrane hypothesis of schizophrenia.

KEYWORDS:

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; Microbiome; Schizophrenia; Ultra-high risk

PMID:
29870894
DOI:
10.1016/j.eurpsy.2018.05.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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