Dung Critter Lifts Mood

Scientists from the University of Bristol and University College London have found that treating mice with soil bacteria altered their behavior in a way similar to that produced by antidepressant drugs. The findings, reported in Neuroscience, indicate that the dung-loving bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae activated a group of neurons in the brain that produce serotonin.

It has long been suspected that the immune system plays in role in depression, but the mechanics of the relationship have not been well understood. “These studies help us understand how the body communicates with the brain and why a healthy immune system is important for maintaining mental health. They also leave us wondering if we shouldn’t all be spending more time playing in the dirt,” said lead author Dr Chris Lowry, from Bristol University.

The study took place after human cancer patients being treated with M. vaccaeunexpectedly reported increases in their quality of life. Lowry and his colleagues reasoned that this effect could be caused by activation of the neurons in the brain that secrete serotonin – a chemical that when lacking is thought to cause depression in people.

Looking closely at the brains of mice after treatment with M. vaccae, the researchers found that the bacterium did indeed activate neurons associated with the production of serotonin. The researchers speculate that M. vaccae’s effects on the behavior of mice may be due to increasing the release of serotonin in the parts of the brain that regulate mood. Lowry said that future studies will look more closely at the antidepressant effects of M. vaccae and other bacteria.

More brain bending little critters:
Cat Parasite Aiming For Global Male Domination
Boffin Ponders Cultural Manipulation By Cat Parasite

Source: University of Bristol

, ,

Comments are closed.

Set of Vintage Owens Illinois Green Depression Glass Salt and Pepper Shakers picture

Set of Vintage Owens Illinois Green Depression Glass Salt and Pepper Shakers

$19.95



Baby  Black Cotton Picker Boy PHOTO Great Depression, Farm Worker Child Arkansas picture

Baby Black Cotton Picker Boy PHOTO Great Depression, Farm Worker Child Arkansas

$4.28



BEAUTIFUL OLD PINK DEPRESSION 4 PC SET DRINKING GLASSES TUMBLERS picture

BEAUTIFUL OLD PINK DEPRESSION 4 PC SET DRINKING GLASSES TUMBLERS

$20.00



1936 DEPRESSION ERA FAMILY Photo  (195-K) picture

1936 DEPRESSION ERA FAMILY Photo (195-K)

$8.97



DARK GREEN DEPRESSION STYLE BOTTOMS UP SHOT GLASS picture

DARK GREEN DEPRESSION STYLE BOTTOMS UP SHOT GLASS

$10.49



Depression Glass Tea Room Green Salt Shaker picture

Depression Glass Tea Room Green Salt Shaker

$50.00



1937 OKLAHOLMA  DEPRESSION ERA CHILDREN Photo  (195-L) picture

1937 OKLAHOLMA DEPRESSION ERA CHILDREN Photo (195-L)

$8.97



Vintage 1930 - 40s Vitex Depression Glass Crystal Fruit Knife Original Box WOW picture

Vintage 1930 - 40s Vitex Depression Glass Crystal Fruit Knife Original Box WOW

$16.25



1936 Daughter of Farmer DEPRESSION ERA PHOTO picture

1936 Daughter of Farmer DEPRESSION ERA PHOTO

$8.97



1939 DEPRESSION ERA HOME Oklahoma PHOTO   (199-a) picture

1939 DEPRESSION ERA HOME Oklahoma PHOTO (199-a)

$8.97



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes