Presenter Information

Sarah SyedFollow

Major

Neuroscience

Anticipated Graduation Year

2021

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

The front-line treatment for depression are SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). They prevent the removal of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, from the synapse by inhibiting pre-synaptic reuptake proteins. Many patients taking SSRIs often report significant weight fluctuation and changes in appetite, which can be linked to disturbances of the gut microbiota. For instance, SSRIs may be responsible for depleting weight regulating bacteria, increasing the chances of dysbiosis, or imbalance of the gut microbial community. Aside from weight fluctuations, SSRIs might be having a direct impact on gut microbial community structure, a change that results in a signal via the gut-brain axis that alleviates depressive episodes. The goal of this ongoing project is to investigate if SSRIs have a direct significant effect on human gut microbial populations. This can be accomplished through in vitro drug administration provided to isolated human gut microbial communities in an anaerobic environment.

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Michael Burns, Assistant Professor, Biology Department

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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The Effects of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors on the Human Gut Microbiome

The front-line treatment for depression are SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). They prevent the removal of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, from the synapse by inhibiting pre-synaptic reuptake proteins. Many patients taking SSRIs often report significant weight fluctuation and changes in appetite, which can be linked to disturbances of the gut microbiota. For instance, SSRIs may be responsible for depleting weight regulating bacteria, increasing the chances of dysbiosis, or imbalance of the gut microbial community. Aside from weight fluctuations, SSRIs might be having a direct impact on gut microbial community structure, a change that results in a signal via the gut-brain axis that alleviates depressive episodes. The goal of this ongoing project is to investigate if SSRIs have a direct significant effect on human gut microbial populations. This can be accomplished through in vitro drug administration provided to isolated human gut microbial communities in an anaerobic environment.