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Adult neurogenesis (i.e., the life-long generation of new neurons from undifferentiated neuronal precursors in the adult brain) may contribute to brain repair after damage, and participates in plasticity-related processes including memory, cognition, mood and sensory functions. Among the many intrinsic (oxidative stress, inflammation, and ageing), and extrinsic (environmental pollution, lifestyle, and diet) factors deemed to impact neurogenesis, significant attention has been recently attracted by the myriad of saprophytic microorganismal communities inhabiting the intestinal ecosystem and collectively referred to as the gut microbiota. A growing body of evidence, mainly from animal studies, reveal the influence of microbiota and its disease-associated imbalances on neural stem cell proliferative and differentiative activities in brain neurogenic niches. On the other hand, the long-claimed pro-neurogenic activity of natural dietary compounds endowed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties (such as polyphenols, polyunsaturated fatty acids, or pro/prebiotics) may be mediated, at least in part, by their action on the intestinal microflora. The purpose of this review is to summarise the available information regarding the influence of the gut microbiota on neurogenesis, analyse the possible underlying mechanisms, and discuss the potential implications of this emerging knowledge for the fight against neurodegeneration and brain ageing.


Fiorella Sarubbo, Virve Cavallucci, Giovambattista Pani. The Influence of Gut Microbiota on Neurogenesis: Evidence and Hopes. Cells. 2022 Jan 23;11(3)

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PMID: 35159192

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