Research ResourceHost-Microbe Interactions

A dynamic mouse peptidome landscape reveals probiotic modulation of the gut-brain axis

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Signaling  28 Jul 2020:
Vol. 13, Issue 642, eabb0443
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.abb0443

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

The brain on probiotics

Besides being a key player in the regulation of host metabolism and immunity, the gut microbiome also plays an important role in the gut-brain axis, a system of bidirectional communication between the central and enteric nervous systems. Zhang et al. analyzed the brain peptidomes and gut microbiomes of mice fed two different species of probiotics. Probiotic treatment altered the abundances of many neuropeptides in a manner that correlated with changes in the composition of the gut microbiome, varied by brain region, and depended on the probiotic species, whether the probiotic was live or heat-killed, and the duration of treatment. These omics datasets are a foundation for future studies of the mechanistic links between the gut microbiota and cognitive, behavioral, and physiological processes controlled by neuropeptides.


Certain probiotics have beneficial effects on the function of the central nervous system through modulation of the gut-brain axis. Here, we describe a dynamic landscape of the peptidome across multiple brain regions, modulated by oral administration of different probiotic species over various times. The spatiotemporal and strain-specific changes of the brain peptidome correlated with the composition of the gut microbiome. The hippocampus exhibited the most sensitive response to probiotic treatment. The administration of heat-killed probiotics altered the hippocampus peptidome but did not substantially change the gut microbiome. We developed a literature-mining algorithm to link the neuropeptides altered by probiotics with potential functional roles. We validated the probiotic-regulated role of corticotropin-releasing hormone by monitoring the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the prenatal stress–induced hyperactivity of which was attenuated by probiotics treatment. Our findings provide evidence for modulation of the brain peptidome by probiotics and provide a resource for further studies of the gut-brain axis and probiotic therapies.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Signaling