Impact of Contaminants on Microbiota: Linking the Gut-Brain Axis with Neurotoxicity


Over the last years, research has focused on microbiota to establish a missing link between neuronal health and intestine imbalance. Many studies have considered microbiota as critical regulators of the gut-brain axis. The crosstalk between microbiota and the central nervous system is mainly explained through three different pathways: the neural, endocrine, and immune pathways, intricately interconnected with each other. In day-to-day life, human beings are exposed to a wide variety of contaminants that affect our intestinal microbiota and alter the bidirectional communication between the gut and brain, causing neuronal disorders. The interplay between xenobiotics, microbiota and neurotoxicity is still not fully explored, especially for susceptible populations such as pregnant women, neonates, and developing children. Precisely, early exposure to contaminants can trigger neurodevelopmental toxicity and long-term diseases. There is growing but limited research on the specific mechanisms of the microbiota-gut-brain axis (MGBA), making it challenging to understand the effect of environmental pollutants. In this review, we discuss the biological interplay between microbiota-gut-brain and analyse the role of endocrine-disrupting chemicals: Bisphenol A (BPA), Chlorpyrifos (CPF), Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), and Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in MGBA perturbations and subsequent neurotoxicity. The complexity of the MGBA and the changing nature of the gut microbiota pose significant challenges for future research. However, emerging in-silico models able to analyse and interpret meta-omics data are a promising option for understanding the processes in this axis and can help prevent neurotoxicity.

Authors: Jordina Balaguer-Trias, Deepika Deepika, Marta Schuhmacher, Vikas Kumar
; Full Source: International journal of environmental research and public health 2022 Jan 26;19(3):1368. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19031368.