FMT Oral exposure of polystyrene microplastics and doxycycline affects mice neurological function via gut microbiota disruption: The orchestrating role of fecal microbiota transplantation (Feb 2024)

Fecal Microbiota Transplants

Michael Harrop

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https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0304389424002930

Highlights​

  • Dox combined with PS exposure perturbed gut microbiota homeostasis in mice.
  • Co-exposure causes brain lesions and inflammation accompanied by decreased learning and memory behaviors through the gut-brain axis.
  • Fecal microbiota transplantation can reverse neurological impairment via compensating gut microbes.

Abstract​

The debris of plastics with a size < 5 mm, called microplastics, possess long-lived legacies of plastic pollution and a growing threat to human beings. The adverse effects and corresponding molecular mechanisms of microplastics are still largely unknown and must be prioritized.

Antibiotics commonly co-existed with microplastics; the current study investigated the syngenetic toxic effect of doxycycline (Dox) and polystyrene microplastics (PS). Specifically, we found that Dox combined with PS exposure perturbed gut microbiota homeostasis in mice, which mediated brain lesions and inflammation with a concomitant decline in learning and memory behaviors through the gut-brain axis.

Of note, PS exposure resulted in intestinal damage and structural change, but Dox did not accelerate the disruption of intestinal barrier integrity in PS-treated mice.

Interestingly, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) can reverse neurological impairment caused by combined PS and Dox exposure via compensating gut microbes; therefore, the learning and memory abilities of mice were also recovered. This work not only provides insights into the syngenetic effect of microplastics and antibiotics and highlights their distal neurotoxicity through the gut-brain axis but also offers a promising strategy against their combined toxicity.
 
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