Novel Probiotic Therapies for Autism
Annual rept. 22 August 2011 -21 August 2012
CALIFORNIA INST OF TECH PASADENA
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Although autism spectrum disorder ASD is defined by core behavioral impairments, gastrointestinal GI symptoms are commonly reported. Subsets of ASD individuals display dysbiosis of the gut microbiome, and some exhibit increased intestinal permeability. We demonstrate GI barrier defects in a mouse model of an important ASD risk factor, maternal immune activation MIA. Remarkably, oral treatment of MIA offspring with the human commensal Bacteroides fragilis corrects gut permeability and ameliorates defects in communicative, stereotypic, anxiety-like and sensorimotor behaviors. MIA offspring also display an altered serum metabolomic profile, and B. fragilis normalizes levels of several of the serum metabolites. These findings suggest a gut-microbiome-brain connection in autism, and identify a potential probiotic therapy for ASD.