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Chun Yang, Xi Fang and their collaborators at Tongji Medical College, Wuhan, China, Soochow Univrsity, Changzhou, China, and Chiba University, Chiba, Japan, recently published an interesting paper on TRANSLATIONAL PSYCHIATRY, discussing the role of gut microbiota in anhedonia-like phenotype in rodents with neuropathic pain,

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Abstract

“Patients with chronic neuropathic pain frequently suffer from symptoms of anhedonia, which is a core symptom of depression. Accumulating studies suggest that gut microbiota may play a role in depression via gut–microbiota–brain axis. However, it is unknown whether gut microbiota plays a role in neuropathic pain-associated anhedonia. Here, we used a rat model of spared nerve injury (SNI). Hierarchical cluster analysis of sucrose preference test (SPT) results was used to classify the SNI rats with or without anhedonia-like phenotype. The 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing analysis showed abnormal composition of gut microbiota in the anhedonia susceptible compared to sham-operated rats and resilient rats. Furthermore, antibiotics-treated mice showed pain as well as depression-like and anhedonia-like phenotypes, suggesting a role of gut microbiota in these abnormal behaviors. Transplantation of fecal microbiota from anhedonia susceptible rats into antibiotics-treated pseudo-germ-free mice significantly exaggerated pain and depression-like phenotypes, including anhedonia. In contrast, transplantation of fecal microbiota from resilient rats into antibiotics-treated pseudo-germ-free mice significantly improved pain and depression-like phenotypes, including anhedonia. In conclusion, this study suggests that abnormal composition of gut microbiota may contribute to anhedonia susceptibility post SNI surgery, and that gut microbiota also plays a role in the pain as well as depression-like phenotypes. Interestingly, fecal microbiota transplantation from SNI rats with or without anhedonia can alter pain, depression-like and anhedonia-like phenotypes in the pseudo-germ-free mice. Therefore, it is likely that gut microbiota plays a key role in the pain as well as depression-like phenotypes including anhedonia in rodents with neuropathic pain.

Read the complete paper at the following link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-019-0379-8

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