Brain injury induces specific changes in the caecal microbiota of mice via altered autonomic activity and mucoprotein production

A. Houlden, M. Goldrick, D. Brough, E. Vízi, N. Lénárt, B. Martinecz, I. S. Roberts, A. Denes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)


Intestinal microbiota are critical for health with changes associated with diverse human diseases. Research suggests that altered intestinal microbiota can profoundly affect brain function. However, whether altering brain function directly affects the microbiota is unknown. Since it is currently unclear how brain injury induces clinical complications such as infections or paralytic ileus, key contributors to prolonged hospitalization and death post-stroke, we tested in mice the hypothesis that brain damage induced changes in the intestinal microbiota. Experimental stroke altered the composition of caecal microbiota, with specific changes in Peptococcaceae and Prevotellaceae correlating with the extent of injury. These effects are mediated by noradrenaline release from the autonomic nervous system with altered caecal mucoprotein production and goblet cell numbers. Traumatic brain injury also caused changes in the gut microbiota, confirming brain injury effects gut microbiota. Changes in intestinal microbiota after brain injury may affect recovery and treatment of patients should appreciate such changes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 13 2016



  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Gut
  • Inflammation
  • Microbiota
  • Mucoprotein
  • Noradrenaline
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems

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