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What Happen in our Gut Can Cause Us Depression!

A recent study by Chen et al. explores the impacts of microbiota and its metabolites on Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) through the gut-brain axis (GBA). MDD is a highly prevalent and disabling condition characterized by sleep disorders, appetite changes, suicidal thoughts, and cognitive impairment. Traditional treatments often fall short, with a significant portion of patients experiencing inadequate therapeutic effects. This study highlights the crucial role of the gut microbiome in MDD pathogenesis, noting that microbial characteristics could potentially serve as biomarkers for the disorder. The microbiota influences MDD through various mechanisms, including immune and inflammatory pathways, alterations in gut permeability and the blood-brain barrier, and interactions with intestinal nerves.


The research underscores the complex bidirectional communication within the microbiota-gut-brain axis (MGBA), which involves the enteric nervous system (ENS), the brain, and the gastrointestinal tract. Gut microbes and their metabolites, such as tryptophan, kynurenic acid, indole, and lipopolysaccharide, play significant roles in MDD by impacting neuroinflammation, tryptophan metabolism, neurotransmitter production, and overall metabolic processes. Despite advancements in understanding the gut microbiome's role, the specific mechanisms by which gut microbes influence MDD remain unclear. This comprehensive review calls for further investigation into MGBA-based treatments for MDD, aiming to provide better therapeutic targets and improve patient outcomes.


Chen, C.-Y., et al., Impacts of microbiota and its metabolites through gut-brain axis on pathophysiology of major depressive disorder. Life Sciences, 2024: p. 122815.

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