Research ArticleGUT MICROBIOTA

Transplantation of fecal microbiota from patients with irritable bowel syndrome alters gut function and behavior in recipient mice

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Science Translational Medicine  01 Mar 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 379, eaaf6397
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf6397

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Connecting the gut-brain axis

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the most common gastrointestinal disorder worldwide, is characterized by abdominal pain and altered gut function and often is accompanied by anxiety. An association between intestinal dysbiosis and IBS has been reported, but the functional relevance remains unknown. De Palma and colleagues colonized germ-free mice with fecal microbiota from healthy controls or IBS patients with diarrhea (IBS-D) who did or did not have anxiety. They demonstrated that transplantation of fecal microbiota from patients with IBS-D and anxiety resulted in altered gut function and behavior in mouse recipients, including faster gastrointestinal transit, low-grade inflammation, and anxiety-like behavior.