Breaking down the barriers: the gut microbiome, intestinal permeability and stress-related psychiatric disorders

The emerging links between our gut microbiome and the central nervous system (CNS) are regarded as a paradigm shift in neuroscience with possible implications for not only understanding the pathophysiology of stress-related psychiatric disorders, but also their treatment. Thus the gut microbiome and its influence on host barrier function is positioned to be a critical node within the brain-gut axis. Mounting preclinical evidence broadly suggests that the gut microbiota can modulate brain development, function and behavior by immune, endocrine and neural pathways of the brain-gut-microbiota axis. Topics include: • The gut microbiome • Development, structure, and function of the intestinal epithelial barrier • Microbiome and the blood brain barrier • Brain-gut-microbiota axis • Stress, the gut microbiota and barrier function • Irritable bowel syndrome • Candidate pathways to barrier dysfunction • Short chain fatty acids • Restoration and maintenance of a healthy intestinal barrier • Pre- and pro-biotics

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