Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Host microbiota keep the brain healthy

02.06.2015

The gut’s microbiome has an impact on the brain’s immune response throughout life, with a possible effect on the course of diseases affecting the brain. Researchers at the University Medical Center Freiburg have uncovered these effects in mice.

The function of brain macrophages is controlled by metabolites of gut bacteria, called short-chain fatty acids. Mice without gut bacteria developed stunted microglia. This study highlights the importance of a balanced diet for the prevention of brain diseases and indicates that there may be a link between gut bacteria and the genesis of neurodegenerative diseases. These findings will be published in the renowned journal Nature Neuroscience.

Microglia are also known as phagocytes of the brain, or brain macrophages. They eliminate invading pathogens and dead brain cells, thus contributing to the brain’s life-long plasticity. Malfunctioning microglia cells play a role in a number of brain diseases. Until now, the maturing and activation of these cells has been unclear.

Without gut bacteria, the brain’s immune cells become stunted

Prof. Dr Marco Prinz, Medical Director at the Institute of Neuropathology at the University Medical Center Freiburg and associated member of the BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies Freiburg, heads the research group consisting of members from Freiburg, Rehovot (Israel), Munich, Mainz, Cologne and Berne (Switzerland).

Together with the lead authors, Dr Daniel Erny and Anna Lena Hrabě de Angelis he has been able to demonstrate – using different mouse models – that a functioning immune system of the brain depends on healthy gut bacteria. The researchers examined animals that had been raised and kept in a completely sterile environment. The animals’ microglia were stunted and immature, and hardly responded to the brain’s inflammatory signals. “Our results indicate a constant flow of information between gut bacteria and brain macrophages,” so Prof. Prinz.

Animals whose intestinal bacteria had been eliminated by a four-week course of antibiotics also showed an impaired immune response. When put into contact with animals harbouring a normal gut flora, the previously sterile animals quickly developed their own intestinal flora, which had a positive effect on their immune response. According to the neuropathologist, the general outcome was that “the more diverse the gut bacteria, the better developed were the microglia.”

Fermented fibre controls the brain’s immune response

The researchers showed that short-chain fatty acids function as signal between the intestinal flora and the microglia in the brain. Short-chain fatty acids are a product of the bacterial fermentation of fibres, dairy products and other foods. They can travel to the brain via the bloodstream, where they help microglia cells to quickly and efficiently fight any inflammatory reactions. “Our findings show just how important a balanced diet, contributing to bacterial production of short-chained fatty acids, is for mental health,” says Prof. Prinz.

Does intestinal flora also have an effect on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis?

The study may well be very relevant for humans. “Our study results are in line with previous clinical studies and investigations by other research groups,” explains Prof. Prinz. Autoimmune disorders of the intestines, such as Crohn’s disease, have been linked with a lack of short-chained fatty acids. There have been investigations into treatment by stool transplantation, meaning that the intestinal flora is transferred from one person to another. How strong the effect of the gut microbiome on the functioning and development of the human brain actually is, remains to be investigated.

Contact:
Prof. Dr med. Marco Prinz
Medical Director
Institute of Neuropathology
University Medical Center Freiburg
Telephone: +49 (0)761 270-51060
marco.prinz@uniklinik-freiburg.de

Publication title: Host microbiota constantly control maturation and function of microglia in the CNS

DOI: 10.1080/15592294.2015.1039216.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.uniklinik-freiburg.de/neuropathology.html Institute of Neuropathology
http://www.uniklinik-freiburg.de/nc/presse/pressemitteilungen/detailansicht/pres... Press release: Freiburg Neuropathologist receives renowned Award for research on multiple sclerosis (German)
http://www.bioss.uni-freiburg.de BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies

Benjamin Waschow | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>