The gut-brain axis in irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease

Dig Liver Dis. 2021 Mar;53(3):298-305. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2020.11.026. Epub 2020 Dec 7.


Research increasingly demonstrates the bidirectional communication between gut microbiota and the brain, enhancing the role of gut microbiota modulation in the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders. The first five years of life are extremely important as it affects the development of gut microbiota, immune system and, consequently, the onset of psychometric alterations, particularly in genetically predisposed individuals. In this review, we focus on the link between specific microbial genera, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, anxiety and depression and on the effects of different therapeutic strategies for mood disorders on gut microbiota.

Keywords: Gut inflammation; Gut–brain axis; IBD; IBS; Probiotics; Psychobiotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / complications
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Brain-Gut Axis*
  • Central Nervous System Agents / therapeutic use
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / physiopathology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / psychology
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / complications
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / psychology*
  • Mice
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales


  • Central Nervous System Agents