Microbial endocrinology: host-bacteria communication within the gut microbiome

J Endocrinol. 2015 May;225(2):R21-34. doi: 10.1530/JOE-14-0615. Epub 2015 Mar 19.


The human body is home to trillions of micro-organisms, which are increasingly being shown to have significant effects on a variety of disease states. Evidence exists that a bidirectional communication is taking place between us and our microbiome co-habitants, and that this dialogue is capable of influencing our health in a variety of ways. This review considers how host hormonal signals shape the microbiome, and what in return the microbiome residents may be signalling to their hosts.

Keywords: catecholamines; gut microbiome; host–microbe communication; stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Hormones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Microbiota*
  • Stress, Physiological


  • Hormones