Expert insights: The potential role of the gut microbiome-bile acid-brain axis in the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease and hepatic encephalopathy.
Recent epidemiological and molecular studies have linked the disruption of cholesterol homeostasis to increased risk for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). Emerging evidence also suggests that brain cholesterol accumulation contributes to the progression of hepatic encephalopathy (HE) via bile acid (BA)-mediated effects on the farnesoid X receptor. In this perspective paper, we reviewed several recently published studies that suggested a role for the gut microbiota transformation of BAs as a factor in AD and HE development/progression. We hypothesize that in addition to cholesterol elimination pathways, alteration of the gut microbiota and subsequent changes in both the serum and brain BA profiles are mechanistically involved in the development of both AD and HE, and thus, are a potential target for the prevention and treatment of the two diseases. Our understanding of the microbiome-BAs-brain axis in central nervous system disease is still evolving, and critical questions regarding the emerging links among central, peripheral, and intestinal metabolic failures contributing to brain health and disease during aging have yet to be addressed.
Jia, W; Rajani, C; Kaddurah-Daouk, R; Li, H
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