Extracellular Vesicles from Gram-positive and Gram-negative Probiotics Remediate Stress-Induced Depressive Behavior in Mice

Juli Choi, Hyejin Kwon, Yoon Keun Kim, Pyung Lim Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Chronic stress causes maladaptive changes in the brain that lead to depressive behavior. In the present study, we investigate whether chronic stress alters gut microbiota compositions that are related to stress-induced maladaptive changes in the brain. Mice treated with daily 2-h restraint for 14 days (CRST) exhibit depressive-like behavior. Sequence readings of 16S rRNA genes prepared from fecal samples taken from CRST-treated mice suggest that chronic stress induces gut microbiota changes that are pronounced in the post-stress period, relative to those that occur in the 14-day stress phase. The genus Lactobacillus is one such microbiota substantially changed following chronic stress. In contrast, intraperitoneal injection of extracellular vesicles (EVs) isolated from culture media of the Gram-positive probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum is sufficient to ameliorate stress-induced depressive-like behavior. Interestingly, EVs from the Gram-positive probiotic Bacillus subtilis and EVs from the Gram-negative probiotic Akkermansia muciniphila also produce anti-depressive-like effects. While chronic stress decreases the expression of MeCP2, Sirt1, and/or neurotrophic factors in the hippocampus, EVs from the three selected probiotics differentially restore stress-induced changes of these factors. These results suggest that chronic stress produces persistent changes in gut microbiota composition, whereas purified EVs of certain probiotics can be used for treatment of stress-induced depressive-like behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2715-2728
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Akkermansia
  • Bacillus
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Lactobacillus
  • MeCP2
  • Neurotrophic factors
  • Sirt1


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