Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 ameliorates 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine-induced tic-like behaviors via its influences on the microbiota-gut-brain-axis

Brain Res Bull. 2019 Nov:153:59-73. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2019.07.027. Epub 2019 Jul 25.


We previously reported a novel psychobiotic strain of Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 (PS128) which could ameliorate anxiety-like& depression-like behaviors and modulate cerebral dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) in mice. Here, we examine the possibility of using PS128 administration to improve tic-like behaviors by using a 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptor agonist 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI). PS128 was orally administered to male Wistar rat for 2 weeks before two daily DOI injections. We recorded the behaviors immediately after the second DOI injection and compared the results with control and haloperidol treatment groups. PS128 significantly reduced tic-like behaviors and pre-pulse inhibition deficit in a threshold-dose of 109 CFU per day. Brain tissue analysis showed that DOI induced abnormal DA efflux in the striatum and prefrontal cortex, while PS128 ingestion improved DA metabolism and increased norepinephrine (NE) levels in these two regions. In addition, PS128 ingestion increased DA transporter and β-arrestin expressions and decreased DOI-induced phosphorylation of DA and cAMP regulated phosphoprotein of molecular weight 32 kDa (DARPP-32) at Thr34 and extracellular regulated protein kinases (ERK). PS128 ingestion also modulated peripheral 5-HT levels and shaped the cecal microbiota composition, which helps to alleviate DOI-induced dysbiosis. These results suggested that PS128 ameliorated DOI-induced tic-like hyper-active behaviors via stabilizing cerebral dopaminergic pathways through its modulation of host's microbiota-gut-brain axis. Thus, we believe there are potentials for utilizing psychobiotics to improve syndromes caused by DA dysregulation in DA-related neurological disorders and movement disorders such as Tourette syndrome.

Keywords: Dopamine; Lactobacillus plantarum PS128; Microbiome-gut-brain-axis; Psychobiotic; Tics; Tourette syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamines / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology
  • Haloperidol / pharmacology
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Prefrontal Cortex / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Tics / chemically induced
  • Tics / microbiology*


  • Amphetamines
  • Serotonin
  • Haloperidol
  • 4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenylisopropylamine
  • Dopamine