The gut-brain axis in health neuroscience: implications for functional gastrointestinal disorders and appetite regulation.

Author: Weltens N1,2, Iven J1,2, Van Oudenhove L1,2,3, Kano M4,5
1Laboratory for Brain-Gut Axis Studies (LaBGAS), Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders (TARGID), Department of Chronic Diseases, Metabolism, and Ageing (CHROMETA), University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
2Leuven Brain Institute, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
3Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, University Psychiatric Centre KU Leuven, Campus Gasthuisberg, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
4Frontiers Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences (FRIS), Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.
5Department of Behavioral Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.
Conference/Journal: Ann N Y Acad Sci.
Date published: 2018 Sep
Other: Volume ID: 1428 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 129-150 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1111/nyas.13969. , Word Count: 188

Over the past few years, scientific interest in the gut-brain axis (i.e., the bidirectional communication system between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain) has exploded, mostly due to the identification of the gut microbiota as a novel key player in this communication. However, important progress has also been made in other aspects of gut-brain axis research, which has been relatively underemphasized in the review literature. Therefore, in this review, we provide a comprehensive, although not exhaustive, overview of recent research on the functional neuroanatomy of the gut-brain axis and its relevance toward the multidisciplinary field of health neuroscience, excluding studies on the role of the gut microbiota. More specifically, we first focus on irritable bowel syndrome, after which we outline recent findings on the role of the gut-brain axis in appetite and feeding regulation, primarily focusing on the impact of subliminal nutrient-related gut-brain signals. We conclude by providing future perspectives to facilitate translation of the findings from gut-brain axis neuroscientific research to clinical applications in these domains.

© 2018 New York Academy of Sciences.

KEYWORDS: appetite regulation; brain-gut axis; functional gastrointestinal disorders; gut hormones; visceral pain

PMID: 30255954 DOI: 10.1111/nyas.13969