Gut microbiota play a vital role in maintaining the health of the host. Many factors affect gut microbiota; application of broad range antibiotics disturb microbiota, while probiotic application protects the microbiota. To investigate how probiotics alter the physiological and psychological changes induced by antibiotics, we tested the performance of ampicillin-treated rats in the presence or absence of Lactobacillus fermentum strain NS9, in elevated plus maze and Morris water maze. The results showed that NS9 normalised the composition of gut microbiota and alleviated the ampicillin-induced inflammation in the colon. The levels of the mineralocorticoid and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors were also elevated in the hippocampus of the ampillicin+NS9 treated group. NS9 administration also reduced the anxiety-like behaviour and alleviated the ampicillin-induced impairment in memory retention. These findings suggest that NS9 is beneficial to the host, because it restores the physiological and psychological abnormalities induced by ampicillin. Our results highlight how gut contents regulate the brain, and shed light on the clinical applications of probiotics to treat the side effect of antibiotics and mental disorders.
Keywords: behaviour; gut microbiota; hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis; inflammation; probiotic.