Microbiome to Brain: Unravelling the Multidirectional Axes of Communication

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;874:301-36. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-20215-0_15.


The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in host physiology. Disruption of its community structure and function can have wide-ranging effects making it critical to understand exactly how the interactive dialogue between the host and its microbiota is regulated to maintain homeostasis. An array of multidirectional signalling molecules is clearly involved in the host-microbiome communication. This interactive signalling not only impacts the gastrointestinal tract, where the majority of microbiota resides, but also extends to affect other host systems including the brain and liver as well as the microbiome itself. Understanding the mechanistic principles of this inter-kingdom signalling is fundamental to unravelling how our supraorganism function to maintain wellbeing, subsequently opening up new avenues for microbiome manipulation to favour desirable mental health outcome.

Keywords: Epigenetics; Gut-brain axis; Immune system; Metabolites; Microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction