From “Leaky Gut” to Impaired Glia-Neuron Communication in Depression

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Main idea: gut microbiome regulates the work of gastrointestinal glial cells (part of the neural system) and plays a crucial part in mood disorders formation.

Abstract

The immune-inflammatory response is a fundamental component of the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD) Psychological stress and various inflammatory conditions contribute to such immune activation. The gastrointestinal tract, intestinal microbiota, increased intestinal permeability, activation of immune-inflammatory response, and the CNS interact with each other. This intercommunication takes place within the microbiota-gut-immune-glia (MGIG) cells, and glial cells in the brain are the main orchestrator of this communication. A broad range of factors, including psychological stress, inflammation, dysbiosis, may compromise the permeability of this barrier. This leads to excessive bacterial transfer and the excessive influx of food-derived antigenic material that contributes to activation of the immune-inflammatory response and depressive psychopathology.

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