Changes in the Gut Microbiome Following Traumatic Stress Exposure in a Mouse Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Rebecca Schultz, Dr. Alana Conti Department of Neurosurgery, Wayne State University, 42 W Warren Ave, Detroit, MI 48202 Research and Development Service, John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 4646 John R St, Detroit, MI 48201

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur in response to exposure to extreme adverse events. Its lifetime prevalence in adult Americans is estimated at 6.8% of the population, approximately 20 million adult Americans. There is a positive correlation between PTSD and gastrointestinal (GI) pain and upset, with the origin of these GI issues attributed to bacterial changes in the gut microbiome. Animal studies have shown a relationship between stress and intestinal wall dysfunction, leading to increased systemic lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels, which has been linked to neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment. The communication between microbiota and the central nervous system is not fully understood, but it is thought to be bidirectional and complex.  The goal of my project is to quantify the changes in the concentrations of microbiome bacteria after exposure to mouse Single Prolonged Stress (mSPS), a mouse model validated by our lab for the use of studying PTSD, in order to gain fuller understanding of the interactions between stress, the brain, and the gut microbiome. Single-housed C57Bl/6 mice were exposed to mSPS, with fecal and blood samples collected prior to and 7 days after mSPS. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), the levels of bacterial DNA of several bacterial phyla found in the microbiome were quantified from the fecal samples. LPS levels present in blood from animals exposed to mSPS or control conditions were also measured and analyzed with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs).  It is expected bacterial levels from the Actinobacteria and Firmicute phyla will decrease, as these phyla are associated with stress. Likewise, elevated blood LPS levels are also expected after mSPS. Greater understanding of the gut-brain axis through these studies will be critical in the development of novel treatment and assessment methods in PTSD patients.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Rebecca Schultz

Institution: Wayne State University

Type: Poster

Subject: Microbiology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 8
Date/Time: Tue 5:00pm-6:00pm
Session Number: 5634