Gut microbes promote colonic serotonin production through an effect of short-chain fatty acids on enterochromaffin cells.
ABSTRACT: Gut microbiota alterations have been described in several diseases with altered gastrointestinal (GI) motility, and awareness is increasing regarding the role of the gut microbiome in modulating GI function. Serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] is a key regulator of GI motility and secretion. To determine the relationship among gut microbes, colonic contractility, and host serotonergic gene expression, we evaluated mice that were germ-free (GF) or humanized (HM; ex-GF colonized with human gut microbiota). 5-HT reduced contractile duration in both GF and HM colons. Microbiota from HM and conventionally raised (CR) mice significantly increased colonic mRNAs Tph1 [(tryptophan hydroxylase) 1, rate limiting for mucosal 5-HT synthesis; P < 0.01] and chromogranin A (neuroendocrine secretion; P < 0.01), with no effect on monoamine oxidase A (serotonin catabolism), serotonin receptor 5-HT4, or mouse serotonin transporter. HM and CR mice also had increased colonic Tph1 protein (P < 0.05) and 5-HT concentrations (GF, 17 ± 3 ng/mg; HM, 25 ± 2 ng/mg; and CR, 35 ± 3 ng/mg; P < 0.05). Enterochromaffin (EC) cell numbers (cells producing 5-HT) were unchanged. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) promoted TPH1 transcription in BON cells (human EC cell model). Thus, gut microbiota acting through SCFAs are important determinants of enteric 5-HT production and homeostasis.
Project description:The production and handling of serotonin (5-HT) is an important determinant of colonic motility and has been reported to be altered in gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Recent studies suggest that the intestinal microbiota and sex of the host can influence expression of genes involved in 5-HT biosynthesis and signaling. While expression of genes in serotonergic pathways has been shown to be variable, it remains unclear whether genes within this pathway are coregulated. As a first step in that direction, we investigated potential correlations in relative mRNA expression of serotonergic genes, in the proximal colon isolated from male and female mice in different states of microbial association: germ-free (GF), humanized (ex-germ-free colonized with human gut microbiota, HM), and conventionally raised (CR) mice. Among the 10 pairwise comparisons conducted between five serotonergic transcripts, Tph1, Chga, Maoa, Slc6a4, and Htr4, we found a strong, positive correlation between colonic expression of Slc6a4 and Htr4 across different colonization states and sexes. We also identified a positive correlation between the expression of Tph1 and Chga; however, there were no correlations observed between any other tested pair of 5-HT-related transcripts. These data suggest that correlated expression of Slc6a4 and Htr4 likely involves coregulation of genes located on different chromosomes which modulate serotonergic activity in the gut. Further work will need to be done to understand the pathways and cell types responsible for this correlated expression, given the important role of 5-HT in gastrointestinal physiology.
Project description:The gastrointestinal (GI) tract contains much of the body's serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT), but mechanisms controlling the metabolism of gut-derived 5-HT remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the microbiota plays a critical role in regulating host 5-HT. Indigenous spore-forming bacteria (Sp) from the mouse and human microbiota promote 5-HT biosynthesis from colonic enterochromaffin cells (ECs), which supply 5-HT to the mucosa, lumen, and circulating platelets. Importantly, microbiota-dependent effects on gut 5-HT significantly impact host physiology, modulating GI motility and platelet function. We identify select fecal metabolites that are increased by Sp and that elevate 5-HT in chromaffin cell cultures, suggesting direct metabolic signaling of gut microbes to ECs. Furthermore, elevating luminal concentrations of particular microbial metabolites increases colonic and blood 5-HT in germ-free mice. Altogether, these findings demonstrate that Sp are important modulators of host 5-HT and further highlight a key role for host-microbiota interactions in regulating fundamental 5-HT-related biological processes.
Project description:Diet has major effects on the intestinal microbiota, but the exact mechanisms that alter complex microbial communities have been difficult to elucidate. In addition to the direct influence that diet exerts on microbes, changes in microbiota composition and function can alter host functions such as gastrointestinal (GI) transit time, which in turn can further affect the microbiota.We investigated the relationships among diet, GI motility, and the intestinal microbiota using mice that are germ-free (GF) or humanized (ex-GF mice colonized with human fecal microbiota).Analysis of gut motility revealed that humanized mice fed a standard polysaccharide-rich diet had faster GI transit and increased colonic contractility compared with GF mice. Humanized mice with faster transit due to administration of polyethylene glycol or a nonfermentable cellulose-based diet had similar changes in gut microbiota composition, indicating that diet can modify GI transit, which then affects the composition of the microbial community. However, altered transit in mice fed a diet of fermentable fructooligosaccharide indicates that diet can change gut microbial function, which can affect GI transit.Based on studies in humanized mice, diet can affect GI transit through microbiota-dependent or microbiota-independent pathways, depending on the type of dietary change. The effect of the microbiota on transit largely depends on the amount and type (fermentable vs nonfermentable) of polysaccharides present in the diet. These results have implications for disorders that affect GI transit and gut microbial communities, including irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
Project description:Tryptamine, a tryptophan-derived monoamine similar to 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), is produced by gut bacteria and is abundant in human and rodent feces. However, the physiologic effect of tryptamine in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract remains unknown. Here, we show that the biological effects of tryptamine are mediated through the 5-HT4 receptor (5-HT4R), a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) uniquely expressed in the colonic epithelium. Tryptamine increases both ionic flux across the colonic epithelium and fluid secretion in colonoids from germ-free (GF) and humanized (ex-GF colonized with human stool) mice, consistent with increased intestinal secretion. The secretory effect of tryptamine is dependent on 5-HT4R activation and is blocked by 5-HT4R antagonist and absent in 5-HT4R-/- mice. GF mice colonized by Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron engineered to produce tryptamine exhibit accelerated GI transit. Our study demonstrates an aspect of host physiology under control of a bacterial metabolite that can be exploited as a therapeutic modality. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The gut microbiota is closely associated with gastrointestinal (GI) motility disorder, but the mechanism(s) by which bacteria interact with and affect host GI motility remains unclear. In this study, through using metabolomic and metagenomic analyses, an animal model of neonatal maternal separation (NMS) characterized by accelerated colonic motility and gut dysbiosis was used to investigate the mechanism underlying microbiota-driven motility dysfunction. RESULTS:An excess of intracolonic saturated long-chain fatty acids (SLCFAs) was associated with enhanced bowel motility in NMS rats. Heptadecanoic acid (C17:0) and stearic acid (C18:0), as the most abundant odd- and even-numbered carbon SLCFAs in the colon lumen, can promote rat colonic muscle contraction and increase stool frequency. Increase of SLCFAs was positively correlated with elevated abundances of Prevotella, Lactobacillus, and Alistipes. Functional annotation found that the level of bacterial LCFA biosynthesis was highly enriched in NMS group. Essential synthetic genes Fabs were largely identified from the genera Prevotella, Lactobacillus, and Alistipes. Pseudo germ-free (GF) rats receiving fecal microbiota from NMS donors exhibited increased defecation frequency and upregulated bacterial production of intracolonic SLCFAs. Modulation of gut dysbiosis by neomycin effectively attenuated GI motility and reduced bacterial SLCFA generation in the colon lumen of NMS rats. CONCLUSIONS:These findings reveal a previously unknown relationship between gut bacteria, intracolonic SLCFAs, and host GI motility, suggesting the importance of SLCFA-producing bacteria in GI motility disorders. Further exploration of this relationship could lead to a precise medication targeting the gut microbiota for treating GI motility disorders.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:This study was to inspect the antidepressant-like effect of prebiotics and probiotics, and to explore the effect of modulating gut microbiota on the serotonin (5-HT) metabolism. METHODS:Fifty rats were separated into control and other four groups randomly. The four groups underwent the chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) intervention with or without prebiotics and probiotics (Bifidobacterium longum, L. rhamnosus) treatment. After weighted, the animals underwent a series of behavioral tests comprising the sucrose preference test (SPT) and the forced swimming test (FST). Central and colonic serotonin levels and relative metabolism factors were measured and analyzed. Microbiota was examined by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. RESULTS:CUMS intervention caused a decrease in body weight, an increase in FST, and a decrease in SPT. Prebiotics and probiotics all ameliorated the CUMS-induced loss of weight and depressive-like behaviors to a certain extent, especially L. rhamnosus. Compared with the group of CUMS intervention, the rats of probiotics and probiotics treatment had a tendency to reduce colonic 5-HT and increase 5-HT in frontal cortex and hippocampus. However, there was no significant difference in peripheral blood 5-HT among these groups. Furthermore, CUMS caused noteworthy gut microbiota variations at the phylum and other levels in rats. Remarkably, there were considerable relations of perturbed gut microbiota with the changed metabolism of 5-HT. CONCLUSION:In conclusion, these findings implied that prebiotics and probiotics have antidepressive effects, and a considerable effect on the regulation of 5-HT metabolism, especially L. rhamnosus.
Project description:Objective Intestinal autoimmunity with gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction has been shown in patients with autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED). Patients lack entero-endocrine (EE) cells and have circulating autoantibodies (Aabs) against critical enzymes in serotonin (5-HT) biosynthesis. Design We sought to determine the serum levels of 5-HT, tryptophan (Trp) metabolites and L-DOPA in 37 Finnish APECED patients and to correlate their abundance with the presence of TPH and AADC Aabs, GI dysfunction and depressive symptoms. We also performed an exploratory analysis of the gut microbiome. Methods Serum 5-HT, L-DOPA and Trp metabolite levels were determined by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS). TPH and AADC Aabs were measured by ELISA. Depression was assessed with a structured RBDI questionnaire. The V3-V4 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene were sequenced for gut microbiome exploration. Results Serum 5-HT levels were significantly decreased (130 ± 131 nmol/L vs 686 ± 233 nmol/L, P < 0.0001) in APECED patients with TPH-1 (±AADC) Aabs compared to controls and patients with only AADC Aabs. Reduced 5-HT levels correlated with constipation. The genus Escherichia/Shigella was overrepresented in the intestinal microbiome. No correlation between serum Trp, 5-HT or l-DOPA levels and the RBDI total score, fatigue or sleep disorders was found. Conclusions This exploratory study found low serum levels of 5-HT to be associated with constipation and the presence of TPH-1 and AADC Aabs, but not with symptoms of depression. Hence, serum 5-HT, TPH1 and AADC Aabs should be determined in APECED patients presenting with GI symptoms.
Project description:Background:Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH)1 catalyzes the biosynthesis of serotonin (5-hydroxytrptamine; 5-HT) in enterochromaffin (EC) cells, the predominant source of gut 5-HT. Secreted 5-HT regulates various gut functions through diverse 5-HT receptor (5-HTR) families, and 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) sequesters its activity via uptake into surrounding cells. In inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) mucosal 5-HT signaling is altered, including upregulated EC cell numbers and 5-HT levels. We examined key mucosal 5-HT signaling components and blood 5-HT levels and, as part of a pilot study, investigated the association between 5-HTT gene-linked polymorphic region (5HTTLPR) and Crohn's disease (CD). Methods:In the context of inflammation, colonic expressions of TPH1, 5-HTT and 5-HTRs were studied in CD patients (n=15) and healthy controls (HC; n=10) using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). We also investigated 5HTTLPR in 40 CD patients and HC utilizing PCR and measured platelet-poor plasma (PPP) and plasma 5-HT concentrations. Results:Compared with HC, inflammation in CD patients was associated with elevated TPH1, 5-HTR3, 5-HTR4, 5-HTR7 and downregulated 5-HTT expressions. In our second cohort of participants, significantly higher PPP and plasma 5-HT levels and higher S-genotype (L/S+S/S) than L/L genotype were observed in CD patients compared with HC. Conclusion:Our results suggest that augmented mucosal 5-HT signaling and specific 5-HTTLPR genotype-associated decreased efficiency in 5-HT reuptake, the latter through increased 5-HT availability, may contribute to inflammation in CD patients. These findings revealed important information on various components of 5-HT signaling in intestinal inflammation which may ultimately lead to effective strategies targeting this pathway in IBD.
Project description:Alterations in serotonin (5-HT) are suspected in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of serotonin and has two isoforms: TPH1 and TPH2. Genetic variants in both genes have been studied in various disorders related to serotonin dysregulation. The aim of this study was to examine whether TPH gene variants were associated with IBS and IBS-related gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.Five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the TPH1 and one SNP from the TPH2 were genotyped in 199 IBS patients and 79 healthy controls. All subjects were Caucasian women of European origin. Irritable bowel syndrome patients filled in a daily diary with five GI symptoms and stool characteristics for 28 days.The TPH1 SNPs showed no association with the diagnosis of IBS. However, among IBS patients, all five TPH1 SNPs showed some association with diarrhea and loose type of stool consistency, with P-values rating from 0.01 to 0.20. The TPH2 SNP showed a trend towards a reduced risk of IBS and possible associations with stool characteristics, both hard and loose stools. However, no P-values were less than the conservative multiple-comparison-adjusted threshold of 0.001 and hence these results must be interpreted cautiously.This study is the first to assess associations of TPH gene variants with IBS-related GI symptoms and stool characteristics. The possible association of TPH gene variants with diarrhea needs to be verified in an independent sample.
Project description:Peripheral serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine: 5-HT) synthesized in the intestine by enterochromaffin cells (ECs), plays an important role in the regulation of peristaltic of the gut, epithelial secretion and promotes the development and maintenance of the enteric neurons. Recent studies showed that the indigenous gut microbiota modulates 5-HT signalling and that ECs use sensory receptors to detect dietary and microbiota-derived signals from the lumen to subsequently transduce the information to the nervous system. We hypothesized that Clostridium ramosum by increasing gut 5-HT availability consequently contributes to high-fat diet-induced obesity. Using germ-free mice and mice monoassociated with C. ramosum, intestinal cell lines and mouse organoids, we demonstrated that bacterial cell components stimulate host 5-HT secretion and program the differentiation of colonic intestinal stem progenitors toward the secretory 5-HT-producing lineage. An elevated 5-HT level regulates the expression of major proteins involved in intestinal fatty acid absorption in vitro, suggesting that the presence of C. ramosum in the gut promotes 5-HT secretion and thereby could facilitates intestinal lipid absorption and the development of obesity.