About this Research Topic
Emerging evidence suggest that gut microbiota is critical in maintenance of physiological homeostasis and psychological wellbeing. Microbiota actively shapes the immune system as it is being challenged by both the host and the environment, thus affecting the function of many organs, including the brain. On the other hand, the host environment is able to influence the diversity of the microbiota. This interplay between the host and the gut microbiota is a rapidly emerging area of research, with implications that are now being acknowledged.
Evidence has been presented to suggest a direct role of the microbiota on both the central and peripheral branches of the nervous system, suggesting bidirectional microbiota-gut-brain communication in health and disease. For example, the vagal afferents are able to sense gut dysbiosis and relay the message to the brain, while the efferent output to the gut aids in shaping of the microbiota-neuro-immune responses. Research into host-microbiota interaction yields evidence of direct microbiota influence on enteric nervous system function and production of neurotransmitters. Furthermore, microbiota metabolites are actively molding the central immune system responses, as the gut microbiota end-products contribute to maturation of CNS immune cells and the integrity of the blood brain barrier. Thus, the role of microbiota in psychological conditions like anxiety, and in cardiometabolic disorders like obesity, diabetes and hypertension is emerging.
The overall objective of this Research Topic is to present state-of-the-art research developments by leading scientists in the field, and provide innovative observations and future directions.
Keywords: gut microbiota, nervous system
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