Gut Microbiome and Memory Have Metabolic and Genetic Links

May 08, 2020 | Biotechnology

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Fresh from GEN – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, here is an interesting Bio Technology article for you:

The mind-gut connection has been a fascinating story over the past several years, and it has many scientists rethinking how the human body functions. Now, new evidence from the team of scientists led by investigators at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is among the first to trace the molecular connections between genetics, the gut microbiome, and memory in a mouse model bred to resemble the diversity of the human population.

“Our study shows that the microbiome might partner with genetics to affect memory,” remarked co-senior study investigator Janet Jansson, PhD, a microbial ecologist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

While tantalizing links between the gut microbiome and brain have previously been found, researchers in the current study found new evidence of tangible connections between the gut and the brain. The team identified lactate, a molecule produced by all species of one gut microbe, as a key memory-boosting molecular messenger. Findings from the new study were published recently in BMC Microbiome through an article titled, “Genetic and metabolic links between the murine microbiome and memory.”

Scientists know that mice that have been fed microbes that benefit health, called probiotics, experience several positive benefits. Scientists also know that microbes produce molecules that travel through the blood and act as chemical messengers that influence other parts of the body, including the brain. However, it wasn’t clear which specific microorganisms and microbial molecular messengers might influence memory until now.

“The challenge is that a mouse’s unique genetic makeup and environmental conditions also impact its memory and microbiome,” explained co-senior study investigator Antoine Snijders, PhD, a bioscientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “To know if a microbial molecule influenced memory, we needed to understand the interaction between genetics and the... You can view the entire article in the GEN Blog.

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