Psychophysiological Effects of Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: A Preliminary 8-Week Open Trial

Nutrients. 2021 Oct 22;13(11):3731. doi: 10.3390/nu13113731.


Recent studies have suggested that gut-brain axis may be one of the mechanisms of major depression disorder (MDD). The current study aimed to investigate the effects of Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 (PS128) on psychophysiology in patients with MDD. We recruited 11 patients with MDD and gave them PS128 for 8 weeks. We compared depression symptoms, serum markers of inflammation and gut permeability, and gut microbiota before and after 8-week intervention and also explored the correlations among symptoms, biomarkers, and gut microbiota. After 8-week PS128 intervention, scores of Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17 and Depression and Somatic symptoms Scale significantly decreased. Serum levels of high sensitivity c-reactive protein, interluekin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α, zonulin and intestinal fatty acid binding protein, and the composition of gut microbiota did not significantly change after 8-week PS128 intervention. However, we found changes of some genera were correlated with changes of symptoms and biomarkers. In conclusion, this is an open trial with small sample size and has several limitations. The results need to be verified by randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with larger sample size.

Keywords: gut permeability; inflammation; major depressive disorder; microbiota; probiotics.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biodiversity
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / blood
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / microbiology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Phylogeny
  • Psychophysiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers