Actions of Trace Amines in the Brain-Gut-Microbiome Axis via Trace Amine-Associated Receptor-1 (TAAR1)

Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2020 Mar;40(2):191-201. doi: 10.1007/s10571-019-00772-7. Epub 2019 Dec 13.


Trace amines and their primary receptor, Trace Amine-Associated Receptor-1 (TAAR1) are widely studied for their involvement in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders despite being found in the gastrointestinal tract at physiological levels. With the emergence of the "brain-gut-microbiome axis," we take the opportunity to review what is known about trace amines in the brain, the defined sources of trace amines in the gut, and emerging understandings on the levels of trace amines in various gastrointestinal disorders. Similarly, we discuss localization of TAAR1 expression in the gut, novel findings that TAAR1 may be implicated in inflammatory bowel diseases, and the reported comorbidities of neuropsychiatric disorders and gastrointestinal disorders. With the emergence of TAAR1 specific compounds as next-generation therapeutics for schizophrenia (Roche) and Parkinson's related psychoses (Sunovion), we hypothesize a therapeutic benefit of these compounds in clinical trials in the brain-gut-microbiome axis, as well as a potential for thoughtful manipulation of the brain-gut-microbiome axis to modulate symptoms of neuropsychiatric disease.

Keywords: Microbiome; Trace amines; “Gut-brain-axis”.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / metabolism
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / psychology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Mental Disorders / metabolism*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / biosynthesis*


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Trace amine-associated receptor 1