Recently, there has been growing interest in the gut-brain axis because it is emerging as a player influencing the health status of the host human. It is a known fact that the gut microbiome (GM) through the gut-brain axis has been implicated in numerous diseases. We previously reported that stool condition was associated with pain perception. Stool consistency and constipation are known to be associated with GM composition. Thus, we imagine that GM composition could influence pain perception. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlations between GM composition and pain perception and psychological states in young healthy male subjects.
A total of 42 healthy young male volunteers completed the present study.
The volunteers’ pain perceptions were assessed by pressure pain threshold, current perception threshold, temporal summation of pain, and conditioned pain modulation, and a questionnaire on psychological state was obtained. During the current perception threshold examination, we used 5, 250, and 2,000 Hz to stimulate C, Aδ, and Aβ fibers. In addition, GM composition was evaluated by using 16S rRNA analysis.
Pressure pain threshold showed a significant and negative correlation with Bacteroidetes phylum, in contrast to a significant and positive correlation with Firmicutes phylum. Current perception threshold of Aδ and Firmicutes phylum showed a significant correlation. There was a negative correlation between anxiety state and Bifidobacterium genus. In contrast, there was no significant correlation between psychological states and pain perceptions.
The present study showed that acute pain perception was associated with GM composition in young healthy males.
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