Gut Liver.  2019 May;13(3):325-332. 10.5009/gnl18296.

Depression Promotes the Onset of Irritable Bowel Syndrome through Unique Dysbiosis in Rats

Affiliations
  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Defense Medical College, Tokorozawa, Japan. kengo@ndmc.ac.jp ryota@ndmc.ac.jp
  • 2Microbiome Group, Basic Microbiology Research Department, Food Microbiology Research Laboratories, R&D Division, Meiji Co., Ltd., Hachiouji, Japan.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, National Defense Medical College, Tokorozawa, Japan.
  • 4International University of Health and Welfare Graduate School, Tokyo, Japan.
  • 5Division of Behavioral Sciences, National Defense Medical College Research Institute, Tokorozawa, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS
Although studies using conventional animal models have shown that specific stressors cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it is unclear whether depression itself causes IBS. Our aim was to establish a rat model to determine if depression itself promotes the onset of IBS and to elucidate the role of gut microbiota in brain-gut axis pathogenesis during coincident depression and IBS.
METHODS
Rat models of depression were induced using our shuttle box method of learned helplessness. Visceral hypersensitivity was evaluated by colorectal distension (CRD) to diagnose IBS. Gut microbiota compositions were analyzed using high-throughput sequencing. In the subanalysis of rats without depression-like symptoms, rats with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were also examined.
RESULTS
The threshold value of CRD in depressed rats was significantly lower than that in control rats. Microbial community analysis of cecal microbiota showed that the relative abundance of Clostridiales incertae sedis, the most prevalent microbe, was significantly lower in depressed rats than in control rats. The distribution pattern of the microbiota clearly differed between depressed rats and control rats. Neither visceral hypersensitivity nor the composition of gut microbiota was altered in rats with PTSD-like phenotypes.
CONCLUSIONS
Our rat model of depression is useful for clarifying the effect of depression on IBS and suggests that depression itself, rather than specific stressors, promotes the onset of IBS. Further, we provided evidence that various psychiatric diseases, viz., depression and PTSD, are associated with unique gut microbiota profiles, which could differentially affect the onset and progression of coincident IBS.

Keyword

Irritable bowel syndrome; Depression; Stress disorders, post-traumatic; Gastrointestinal microbiome

MeSH Terms

Animals
Clostridiales
Depression*
Dysbiosis*
Gastrointestinal Microbiome
Helplessness, Learned
Hypersensitivity
Irritable Bowel Syndrome*
Methods
Microbiota
Models, Animal
Phenotype
Rats*
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
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