Identified an immune cellular link between the gut microbiota and the brain

For a while new, evidence has been accummulating linking the gut microbiota to brain function. A new paper published recently in Cell Reports, shows that the intermediary is a type of white blood cell, evidencing as well the relationship between the brain and the immune system. While the crosstalk between the peripheral immune system and the central nervous system has been clearly stablished, it is still unknown if the gut microbiota can affect the peripheral immune system, under normal conditions since they have been shown to modulate immune responses during infection, inflammation, and autoimmunity. Monocytes are a fundamental leukocyte subset of the innate immune system, and contribute to the immune surveillance and host defense upon infections and inflammation. In this work, the authors wanted to investigate the role of monocytes as a effector linking gut flora imbalance to hippocampal neurogenesis. As a counter measure, in this study the authors included voluntary exercise and probiotics and examined the effects on neurogenesis and brain function. Continue reading on