Inflammatory pathways in Alzheimer's disease mediated by gut microbiota

Ageing Res Rev. 2021 Jul;68:101317. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2021.101317. Epub 2021 Mar 9.


In the past decade, numerous studies have demonstrated the close relationship between gut microbiota and the occurrence and development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the specific mechanism is still unclear. Both the neuroinflammation and systemic inflammation serve as the key hubs to accelerate the process of AD by promoting pathology and damaging neuron. What's more, the gut microbiota is also crucial for the regulation of inflammation. Therefore, this review focused on the role of gut microbiota in AD through inflammatory pathways. Firstly, this review summarized the relationship and interaction among gut microbiota, inflammation, and AD. Secondly, the direct and indirect regulatory effects of gut microbiota on AD through inflammatory pathways were described. These effects were mainly mediated by the component of the gut microbiota (lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and amyloid peptides), the metabolites of bacteria (short-chain fatty acids, branched amino acids, and neurotransmitters) and functional by-products (bile acids). In addition, potential treatments (fecal microbiota transplantation, antibiotics, probiotics, prebiotics, and dietary interventions) for AD were also discussed through these mechanisms. Finally, according to the current research status, the key problems to be solved in the future studies were proposed.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Gut Microbiota; Neuroinflammation; Systemic inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / therapy
  • Amyloid
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Probiotics* / therapeutic use


  • Amyloid