Growing evidence suggests a role for brain-gut-microbiota axis in affective disorders including major depression and bipolar disorder (BD). Herein, we aim to explore, by employing germ-free (GF) mice, the effect of the indigenous microbiota in the development of mania-like behavior. Conventional and GF mice were evaluated for the hyperlocomotion induced by the dopamine transporter inhibitor GBR12909 (15 mg/Kg), a validated model for mania-like behavior. Inflammatory mediators and neurotrophic factors were quantified in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum. Mice lacking indigenous microbiota were less susceptible to the mania-like behavior induced by GBR12909. This effect was associated with decreased levels of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-α, along with increased concentrations of anti- inflammatory cytokines (IL-10) and of neurotrophins (BDNF and NGF). We provided the first evidence that gut-microbiota-brain axis participates in the development of mania-like behavior in rodents, possibly through neuroimmunepathways.
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