Discovery of a dopamine producing microbe in the gut: Implications for animal and human health as well as industrial applications.
Though scientists have discussed the health impact of the gut flora for over a century, technological advancement, and discoveries in the fields of microbiology, immunology, endocrinology and neurobiology have dramatically changed the way we understand the microbiota. We have come to realize that microbes are part of complex multispecies communities that exist as important symbionts. Within the context of the mammalian gut, the microbiota can be likened to a distinct part of a neuro-endocrine axis. Through actions on the neuroendocrine axes of the body, the microbiota influences host behavior and health. The body of this dissertation, which consists of research in the field of microbial endocrinology, provides a glimpse into the complex ways in which the host and microbiota interact in this manner. The primary objective of the dissertation is to provide a context by which one can understand the importance of a dopamine producing gut microbe. In compiling this research, the author hopes that one may walk away with a new insight into how the microbiota can modulate host health by the production of neurochemicals.