Host–microbiome interactions: the aryl hydrocarbon receptor as a critical node in tryptophan metabolites to brain signaling

Ning Ma, Ting He, Lee J. Johnston, Xi Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tryptophan (Trp) is not only a nutrient enhancer but also has systemic effects. Trp metabolites signaling through the well-known aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) constitute the interface of microbiome-gut-brain axis. However, the pathway through which Trp metabolites affect central nervous system (CNS) function have not been fully elucidated. AhR participates in a broad variety of physiological and pathological processes that also highly relevant to intestinal homeostasis and CNS diseases. Via the AhR-dependent mechanism, Trp metabolites connect bidirectional signaling between the gut microbiome and the brain, mediated via immune, metabolic, and neural (vagal) signaling mechanisms, with downstream effects on behavior and CNS function. These findings shed light on the complex Trp regulation of microbiome-gut-brain axis and add another facet to our understanding that dietary Trp is expected to be a promising noninvasive approach for alleviating systemic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1203-1219
Number of pages17
JournalGut microbes
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2020

Keywords

  • aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)
  • central nervous system (CNS)
  • microbiome-gut-brain axis
  • Tryptophan metabolites
  • vagal

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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