The gut–brain axis in health neuroscience: implications for functional gastrointestinal disorders and appetite regulation

Nathalie Weltens, Julie Iven, Lukas Van Oudenhove, Michiko Kano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Over the past few years, scientific interest in the gut–brain axis (i.e., the bidirectional communication system between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain) has exploded, mostly due to the identification of the gut microbiota as a novel key player in this communication. However, important progress has also been made in other aspects of gut–brain axis research, which has been relatively underemphasized in the review literature. Therefore, in this review, we provide a comprehensive, although not exhaustive, overview of recent research on the functional neuroanatomy of the gut– brain axis and its relevance toward the multidisciplinary field of health neuroscience, excluding studies on the role of the gut microbiota. More specifically, we first focus on irritable bowel syndrome, after which we outline recent findings on the role of the gut–brain axis in appetite and feeding regulation, primarily focusing on the impact of subliminal nutrient-related gut–brain signals. We conclude by providing future perspectives to facilitate translation of the findings from gut–brain axis neuroscientific research to clinical applications in these domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-150
Number of pages22
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume1428
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 1

Keywords

  • Appetite regulation
  • Brain
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders
  • Gut axis
  • Gut hormones
  • Visceral pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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