Reviewing the role of gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of depression and exploring new therapeutic options

Front Neurosci. 2022 Dec 8:16:1029495. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.1029495. eCollection 2022.


The relationship between gut microbiota (GM) and mental health is one of the focuses of psychobiology research. In recent years, the microbial-gut-brain axis (MGBA) concept has gradually formed about this bidirectional communication between gut and brain. But how the GM is involved in regulating brain function and how they affect emotional disorders these mechanisms are tenuous and limited to animal research, and often controversial. Therefore, in this review, we attempt to summarize and categorize the latest advances in current research on the mechanisms of GM and depression to provide valid information for future diagnoses and therapy of mental disorders. Finally, we introduced some antidepressant regimens that can help restore gut dysbiosis, including classic antidepressants, Chinese materia medica (CMM), diet, and exogenous strains. These studies provide further insight into GM's role and potential pathways in emotion-related diseases, which holds essential possible clinical outcomes for people with depression or related psychiatric disorders. Future research should focus on clarifying the causal role of GM in disease and developing microbial targets, applying these findings to the prevention and treatment of depression.

Keywords: gut microbiota; inflammation; major depressive disorder (MDD); metabolite; microbiota-gut-brain axis; neuroendocrine.

Publication types

  • Review