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Role of the Gut Microbiota in the Pathophysiology of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Clinical and Preclinical Evidence

1
Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, AgroParisTech, Micalis Institute, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France
2
Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands
3
Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, AgroParisTech, CNRS, Micalis Institute, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(9), 1369; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8091369
Received: 10 July 2020 / Revised: 31 August 2020 / Accepted: 3 September 2020 / Published: 7 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Human Gut Microbiome, Diets and Health)
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 1 in 160 people in the world. Although there is a strong genetic heritability to ASD, it is now accepted that environmental factors can play a role in its onset. As the prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms is four-times higher in ASD patients, the potential implication of the gut microbiota in this disorder is being increasingly studied. A disturbed microbiota composition has been demonstrated in ASD patients, accompanied by altered production of bacterial metabolites. Clinical studies as well as preclinical studies conducted in rodents have started to investigate the physiological functions that gut microbiota might disturb and thus underlie the pathophysiology of ASD. The first data support an involvement of the immune system and tryptophan metabolism, both in the gut and central nervous system. In addition, a few clinical studies and a larger number of preclinical studies found that modulation of the microbiota through antibiotic and probiotic treatments, or fecal microbiota transplantation, could improve behavior. Although the understanding of the role of the gut microbiota in the physiopathology of ASD is only in its early stages, the data gathered in this review highlight that this role should be taken in consideration. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; microbiota-gut-brain axis; immune system; tryptophan metabolism; animal models of autism spectrum disorder autism spectrum disorder; microbiota-gut-brain axis; immune system; tryptophan metabolism; animal models of autism spectrum disorder
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Roussin, L.; Prince, N.; Perez-Pardo, P.; Kraneveld, A.D.; Rabot, S.; Naudon, L. Role of the Gut Microbiota in the Pathophysiology of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Clinical and Preclinical Evidence. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 1369.

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