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Increased human intestinal barrier permeability plasma biomarkers zonulin and FABP2 correlated with plasma LPS and altered gut microbiome in anxiety or depression
  1. Bruce R Stevens1,2,
  2. Ruby Goel1,
  3. Kim Seungbum1,
  4. Elaine M Richards1,
  5. Richard C Holbert2,
  6. Carl J Pepine3,
  7. Mohan K Raizada1
  1. 1Department of Physiology & Functional Genomics, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA
  2. 2Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA
  3. 3Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bruce R Stevens, Department of Physiology & Functional Genomics, University of Florida College ofMedicine, 32610-0274, Gainesville, Florida, USA; stevensb{at}ufl.edu

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We read with interest the recent work by Uhde et al,1 which demonstrated that physically asymptomatic non-coeliac gluten/wheat sensitivity involves compromised intestinal epithelium barrier dysfunction in conjunction with systemic immune activation events. We also read with interest the recent work by Marchesi et al,2 which comprehensively reviewed the role of microbiota in physical disorders of the gut and extra-gut organs.

But common to these Gut papers was the lack of accounting for anxiety and depression, comorbidities often experienced in gastroenterology clinics. Patients who are otherwise physically asymptomatic often do not explicitly divulge these mental disorders, or the disorders are unintentionally overlooked, yet they report ‘diminished quality of life’.

In response to this gap, we explored roles of dysbiosis and gut barrier integrity in individuals physically asymptomatic for gastrointestinal distress, yet nonetheless experiencing mental distress. We hypothesised that anxiety and depressive disorders are linked to human gut dysbiosis with microbiota that secrete lipopolysaccharide (LPS) endotoxin into plasma, which in conjunction with compromised gut barrier integrity has systemic manifestations including the brain. We further hypothesised that this correlates with altered intestinal epithelium paracellular integrity molecules discharged …

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