CNS News & Events
Scientists in Cork uncover link between gut microbes and nerves.
The Guardian. The Irish Times, and RTE News, today published articles on how Professor John Cryan and his research teams in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience and APC Microbiome Institute and Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioural Science have discovered a previously unknown connection between the mix of microbes in our gut and how our nerves work.
Professor John F. Cryan and Dr Gerard Clarke along with their PhD student Alan Hoban have shown that germ-free mice which are completely devoid of gut bacteria display greater increase in myelin-related gene expression in the prefrontal cortex. This region of the brain is key to higher cognitive functions and in the expression of anxiety and social behaviours. Importantly, the team were able to visualise the extent of this increase in myelination using transmission electron microscopy.
"We’ve unlocked a process that puts the brakes on myelin formation in the prefrontal cortex,” says Cryan, “and to our knowledge this is the first study showing a clear relationship between the microbiome and myelination in the brain. The new findings could, therefore, eventually lead to novel treatments for multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases, based on prebiotics, probiotics, or even fecal transplants, all of which could potentially be used to adjust the exact composition of microbes in the gut.
'Gut bacteria regulate insulation of nerve fibres in the brain' Guardian
Link to Guardian article here https://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2016/apr/05/gut-bacteria-brain-myelin
'Scientists in Cork uncover link between gut microbes and nerves' Irish Times
Link to Irish Times article here http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/scientists-in-cork-uncover-link-between-gut-microbes-and-nerves-1.2599015
'UCC discovery advances understanding of link between microbes and brain health' RTE News
'Gut Microbes regulate Myelination in the Brain' News and Views UCC Website
‘Regulation of Prefrontal Cortex Myelination by the Microbiota’ Alan Edward Hoban, Roman M Stilling, Feargal Ryan, Marcus Claesson, Fergus Shanahan and Ted Dinan Nature Translational Psychiatry http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/tp.2016.42