Gut Microbiota, Bacterial Translocation, and Interactions with Diet: Pathophysiological Links between Major Depressive Disorder and Non-Communicable Medical Comorbidities

Anastasiya Slyepchenko, Michael Maes, Felice N. Jacka, Cristiano A. Köhler, Tatiana Barichello, Roger S. McIntyre, Michael Berk, Iria Grande, Jane A. Foster, Eduard Vieta, André F. Carvalho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Persistent low-grade immune-inflammatory processes, oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS), and hypothalamic- pituitary-adrenal axis activation are integral to the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). The microbiome, intestinal compositional changes, and re sultant bacterial translocation add a new element to the bidirectional interactions of the gut-brain axis; new evidence implicates these pathways in the patho-aetiology of MDD. In addition, abnormalities in the gut-brain axis are associated with several chronic non-communicable disorders, which frequently co-occur in individuals with MDD, including but not limited to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), obesity, and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Methods: We searched the PubMed/MEDLINE database up until May 1, 2016 for studies which investigated intestinal dysbiosis and bacterial translocation (the 'leaky gut') in the pathophysiology of MDD and co-occurring somatic comorbidities with an emphasis on IBS, CFS, obesity, and T2DM. Results: The composition of the gut microbiota is influenced by several genetic and environmental factors (e.g. diet). Several lines of evidence indicate that gut-microbiotadiet interactions play a significant pathophysiological role in MDD and related medical comorbidities. Gut dysbiosis and the leaky gut may influence several pathways implicated in the biology of MDD, including but not limited to immune activation, O&NS, and neuroplasticity cascades. However, methodological inconsistencies and limitations limit comparisons across studies. Conclusions: Intestinal dysbiosis and the leaky gut may constitute a key pathophysiological link between MDD and its medical comorbidities. This emerging literature opens relevant preventative and therapeutic perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-46
Number of pages16
JournalPsychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Volume86
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Microbiota
  • Mood disorders
  • Obesity
  • Oxidative stress
  • Psychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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