Home > Microbiota-gut-brain axis as a regulator of reward processes.

García-Cabrerizo, Rubén and Carbia, Carina and O Riordan, Kenneth J and Schellekens, Harriet and Cryan, John F (2021) Microbiota-gut-brain axis as a regulator of reward processes. Journal of Neurochemistry, 157, (5), pp. 1495-1524. doi: 10.1111/jnc.15284.

External website: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jnc.15...

Our gut harbours trillions of microorganisms essential for the maintenance of homeostasis and host physiology in health and disease. In the last decade, there has been a growing interest in understanding the bidirectional pathway of communication between our microbiota and the central nervous system. With regard to reward processes there is accumulating evidence from both animal and human studies that this axis may be a key factor in gating reward valence. Focusing on the mesocorticolimbic pathway, we will discuss how the intestinal microbiota is involved in regulating brain reward functions, both in natural (i.e. eating, social or sexual behaviours) and non-natural reinforcers (drug addiction behaviours including those relevant to alcohol, psychostimulants, opioids and cannabinoids). We will integrate preclinical and clinical evidence suggesting that the microbiota-gut-brain axis could be implicated in the development of disorders associated with alterations in the reward system and how it may be targeted as a promising therapeutic strategy.

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