Exposing animals to an enriched environment (EE) has dramatic effects on brain structure, function, and plasticity. The poorly known “EE-derived signals'' mediating the EE effects are thought to be generated within the central nervous system. Here, we shift the focus to the body periphery, revealing that gut microbiota signals are crucial for EE-driven plasticity. Developmental analysis reveals striking differences in intestinal bacteria composition between EE and standard rearing (ST) mice, as well as enhanced levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) in EE mice. Depleting the microbiota of EE mice with antibiotics strongly decreases SCFA and prevents activation of adult ocular dominance plasticity, spine dynamics, and microglia rearrangement. SCFA treatment in ST mice mimics EE induction of ocular dominance plasticity and microglial remodeling. Remarkably, transferring the microbiota of EE mice to ST recipients activates adult ocular dominance plasticity. Thus, experience-dependent changes in gut microbiota regulate brain plasticity.

The gut microbiota of environmentally enriched mice regulates visual cortical plasticity

Lupori L.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Cornuti S.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Pizzorusso T.
Writing – Review & Editing
;
2022

Abstract

Exposing animals to an enriched environment (EE) has dramatic effects on brain structure, function, and plasticity. The poorly known “EE-derived signals'' mediating the EE effects are thought to be generated within the central nervous system. Here, we shift the focus to the body periphery, revealing that gut microbiota signals are crucial for EE-driven plasticity. Developmental analysis reveals striking differences in intestinal bacteria composition between EE and standard rearing (ST) mice, as well as enhanced levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) in EE mice. Depleting the microbiota of EE mice with antibiotics strongly decreases SCFA and prevents activation of adult ocular dominance plasticity, spine dynamics, and microglia rearrangement. SCFA treatment in ST mice mimics EE induction of ocular dominance plasticity and microglial remodeling. Remarkably, transferring the microbiota of EE mice to ST recipients activates adult ocular dominance plasticity. Thus, experience-dependent changes in gut microbiota regulate brain plasticity.
2022
Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia
Dendritic spines; Environmental enrichment; Gut microbiota; microglia; Ocular dominance Plasticity; Short-chain fatty acids; Visual cortex; Animals; Brain; Dominance, Ocular; Environment; Fatty Acids, Volatile; Female; Gastrointestinal Microbiome; Male; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Neuronal Plasticity; Visual Cortex
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11384/110104
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