Microbial signals impact thalamus function
This study looked at pregnant mice, with and without gut microbes They found that maternal microbes were necessary for proper thalamus development and that giving germ-free mothers specific groups of gut bacteria could help axons grow as normal. Pregnant mice without microbes showed a reduction of specific microbial signals in their bloodstream. They concluded that microbial signals travelled from the bloodstream of the pregnant mouse to the foetal brain. Epidemiological studies in humans will decipher whether or not anti-biotic therapy during pregnancy is harmful to foetal brain development.
Vuong, H.E., Pronovost, G.N., Williams, D.W. et al. The maternal microbiome modulates fetal neurodevelopment in mice. Nature 586, 281–286 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2745-3
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