Microbiota in pancreatic health and disease: the next frontier in microbiome research

Author: Thomas, R. M., & Jobin, C. Description: Diseases intrinsic to the pancreas such as pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and type 1 diabetes mellitus impart substantial health and financial burdens on society but identification of novel mechanisms contributing to these pathologies are slow to emerge. A novel area of research suggests that pancreatic-specific disorders might be modulated by the gut microbiota, either through a local (direct pancreatic influence) or in a remote (nonpancreatic) fashion. In this Perspectives, we examine literature implicating microorganisms in diseases of the pancreas, specifically pancreatitis, type 1…

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The impact of microbiota on brain and behavior: mechanisms & therapeutic potential

Author: Borre, Y. E., Moloney, R. D., Clarke, G., Dinan, T. G., & Cryan, J. F. Description: There is increasing evidence that host-microbe interactions play a key role in maintaining homeostasis. Alterations in gut microbial composition is associated with marked changes in behaviors relevant to mood, pain and cognition, establishing the critical importance of the bi-directional pathway of communication between the microbiota and the brain in health and disease. Dysfunction of the microbiome-brain-gut axis has been implicated in stress-related disorders such as depression, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome and neurodevelopmental…

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Current explorations of nutrition and the gut microbiome: a comprehensive evaluation of the review literature

Author: Frame, L. A., Costa, E., & Jackson, S. A. Description: CONTEXT: The ability to measure the gut microbiome led to a surge in understanding and knowledge of its role in health and disease. The diet is a source of fuel for and influencer of composition of the microbiome. OBJECTIVE: To assess the understanding of the interactions between nutrition and the gut microbiome in healthy adults. DATA SOURCES: PubMed and Google Scholar searches were conducted in March and August 2018 and were limited to the following: English, 2010-2018, healthy adults,…

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Why does the microbiome affect behaviour?

Author: Johnson, K. V.-A., & Foster, K. R. Description: Growing evidence indicates that the mammalian microbiome can affect behaviour, and several symbionts even produce neurotransmitters. One common explanation for these observations is that symbionts have evolved to manipulate host behaviour for their benefit. Here, we evaluate the manipulation hypothesis by applying evolutionary theory to recent work on the gut-brain axis. Although the theory predicts manipulation by symbionts under certain conditions, these appear rarely satisfied by the genetically diverse communities of the mammalian microbiome. Specifically, any symbiont investing its resources to…

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The Influence of the Microbiome on Allergic Sensitization to Food

Author: Plunkett, Catherine H.; Nagler, Cathryn R. Description: The alarming increase in the incidence and severity of food allergies has coincided with lifestyle changes in Western societies, such as dietary modifications and increased antibiotic use. These demographic shifts have profoundly altered the coevolved relationship between host and microbiota, depleting bacterial populations critical for the maintenance of mucosal homeostasis. There is increasing evidence that the dysbiosis associated with sensitization to food fails to stimulate protective tolerogenic pathways, leading to the development of the type 2 immune responses that characterize allergic disease….

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Bacteriophage-mediated manipulation of the gut microbiome – promises and present limitations

Author: Rasmussen, T. S.; Koefoed, A. K.; Jakobsen, R. R.; Deng, L.; Castro-Mejía, J. L.; Brunse, A.; Neve, H.; Vogensen, F. K. & Nielsen, D. S. Description: Gut microbiome (GM) composition and function are linked to human health and disease, and routes for manipulating the GM have become an area of intense research. Due to its high treatment efficacy, the use of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is generally accepted as a promising experimental treatment for patients suffering from GM imbalances (dysbiosis), e.g. caused by recurrent Clostridioides difficile infections (rCDI). Mounting…

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The intestinal microbiota fuelling metabolic inflammation

Author: Tilg, H., Zmora, N., Adolph, T. E., & Elinav, E. Description: Low-grade inflammation is the hallmark of metabolic disorders such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Emerging evidence indicates that these disorders are characterized by alterations in the intestinal microbiota composition and its metabolites, which translocate from the gut across a disrupted intestinal barrier to affect various metabolic organs, such as the liver and adipose tissue, thereby contributing to metabolic inflammation. Here, we discuss some of the recently identified mechanisms that showcase the role of…

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Of the bugs that shape us: maternal obesity, the gut microbiome, and long-term disease risk

Author: Gohir, W., Ratcliffe, E. M., & Sloboda, D. M. Description: Chronic disease risk is inextricably linked to our early-life environment, where maternal, fetal, and childhood factors predict disease risk later in life. Currently, maternal obesity is a key predictor of childhood obesity and metabolic complications in adulthood. Although the mechanisms are unclear, new and emerging evidence points to our microbiome, where the bacterial composition of the gut modulates the weight gain and altered metabolism that drives obesity. Over the course of pregnancy, maternal bacterial load increases, and gut bacterial…

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Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota? Evolutionary pressures and potential mechanisms

Author: Alcock, J.; Maley, C.C.; Aktipis, C.A. Description: Microbes in the gastrointestinal tract are under selective pressure to manipulate host eating behavior to increase their fitness, sometimes at the expense of host fitness. Microbes may do this through two potential strategies: (i) generating cravings for foods that they specialize on or foods that suppress their competitors, or (ii) inducing dysphoria until we eat foods that enhance their fitness. We review several potential mechanisms for microbial control over eating behavior including microbial influence on reward and satiety pathways, production of toxins…

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Antibiotics, microbiota, and immune defense

Author: Ubeda, C.; Pamer, E.G. Description: The gastrointestinal tract microbiota contributes to the development and differentiation of the mammalian immune system. The composition of the microbiota affects immune responses and affects susceptibility to infection by intestinal pathogens and development of allergic and inflammatory bowel diseases. Antibiotic administration, while facilitating clearance of targeted infections, also perturbs commensal microbial communities and decreases host resistance to antibiotic-resistant microbes. Here, we review recent advances that begin to define the interactions between complex intestinal microbial populations and the mammalian immune system and how this relation…

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