Childhood microbial experience, immunoregulation, inflammation, and adult susceptibility to psychosocial stressors and depression

Graham A.W. Rook, Charles L. Raison, Christopher A. Lowry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microbial exposures early in life modulate our susceptibility to depression via effects on the composition of the microbiota and the development of the immune system. Modern urban lifestyles reduce these exposures resulting in altered microbiota and defective regulation of inflammatory responses. These changes are reflected in the increasing prevalence of chronic inflammatory disorders and of persistently raised biomarkers of inflammation among those living in modern urban societies, compared with those living a hunter-gatherer or subsistence agriculture-based lifestyle. Moreover, the microbiota regulates metabolism, so a distorted microbiota can promote obesity and the associated inflammation. Similarly, the microbiota regulates the size of the inflammatory response to psychosocial stressors. Thus, there are multiple links between childhood exposures to microbes and the later presence of persistent inflammation that contributes to the risk of depression. Here, we evaluate the evidence for the impact of childhood microbial exposures on subsequent vulnerability to stress-related psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInflammation and Immunity in Depression
Subtitle of host publicationBasic Science and Clinical Applications
PublisherElsevier
Pages17-44
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780128110737
ISBN (Print)9780128110744
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Gut-brain axis
  • Immunoregulation
  • Microbiota
  • Obesity
  • Regulatory t cell
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

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