Oral D-ribose causes depressive-like behavior by altering glycerophospholipid metabolism via the gut-brain axis

Commun Biol. 2024 Jan 9;7(1):69. doi: 10.1038/s42003-023-05759-1.


Our previous work has shown that D-ribose (RIB)-induced depressive-like behaviors in mice. However, the relationship between variations in RIB levels and depression as well as potential RIB participation in depressive disorder is yet unknown. Here, a reanalysis of metabonomics data from depressed patients and depression model rats is performed to clarify whether the increased RIB level is positively correlated with the severity of depression. Moreover, we characterize intestinal epithelial barrier damage, gut microbial composition and function, and microbiota-gut-brain metabolic signatures in RIB-fed mice using colonic histomorphology, 16 S rRNA gene sequencing, and untargeted metabolomics analysis. The results show that RIB caused intestinal epithelial barrier impairment and microbiota-gut-brain axis dysbiosis. These microbial and metabolic modules are consistently enriched in peripheral (fecal, colon wall, and serum) and central (hippocampus) glycerophospholipid metabolism. In addition, three differential genera (Lachnospiraceae_UCG-006, Turicibacter, and Akkermansia) and two types of glycerophospholipids (phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine) have greater contributions to the overall correlations between differential genera and glycerophospholipids. These findings suggest that the disturbances of gut microbiota by RIB may contribute to the onset of depressive-like behaviors via regulating glycerophospholipid metabolism, and providing new insight for understanding the function of microbiota-gut-brain axis in depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain-Gut Axis*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Glycerophospholipids
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Ribose


  • Ribose
  • Glycerophospholipids