Apr 13, 2020

Role of short-chain fatty acids in the gut-brain axis in schizophrenia: contribution to immune activation and pathophysiology in humans and mice

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
F. ZhuXian-cang Ma


Objective: Gut microbiota dysbiosis and aberrant gut-brain functional modules including short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production and long-lasting immune activation (IA) are presented in schizophrenia. Given the key roles of gut microbiota and SCFA in shaping immunity, we propose that dysbiosis-induced SCFA upregulation could contribute to IA and behavioral symptoms in schizophrenia. Design: Gut microbiota, SCFA, and IA biomarkers were compared between schizophrenic patients and healthy controls. The roles of SCFA in schizophrenia-related IA were analyzed in cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and a mouse model of schizophrenia. The effects of SCFAs on schizophrenia-related phenotypes were analyzed in both human and mouse. Results: Both microbial-derived SCFA and SCFA-producing bacteria were elevated in the guts of schizophrenic patients, and this increased SCFA production in gut was associated with IA in schizophrenia. The microbiome signature underpinning schizophrenia-related IA includes increased diversity and increased SCFA-producing bacteria and inflammation-associated bacteria. The impact of SCFAs on immune responses of cultured PBMC depend on the diagnosis and IA status of donors. Small-molecule serum fil...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

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