Cite this paper:
Rozalyn A. SIMON, Purnika Damindi RANASINGHE, Nawroz BARAZANJI, Malin Bergman JUNGESTRÖM, Jie XU, Olga BEDNARSKA, Lena SERRANDER, Maria ENGSTRÖM, Dennis A. BAZYLINSKI, Åsa V. KEITA, Susanna WALTER. Magnetotactic bacteria from the human gut microbiome associated with orientation and navigation regions of the brain[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2021, 39(6): 2044-2052

Magnetotactic bacteria from the human gut microbiome associated with orientation and navigation regions of the brain

Rozalyn A. SIMON1,2, Purnika Damindi RANASINGHE3,4, Nawroz BARAZANJI3, Malin Bergman JUNGESTRÖM3, Jie XU3, Olga BEDNARSKA3, Lena SERRANDER3, Maria ENGSTRÖM1,2, Dennis A. BAZYLINSKI5, Åsa V. KEITA6, Susanna WALTER1,3
1 Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization(CMIV), Linköping University, Linköping 58183, Sweden;
2 Department of Health, Medicine, and Caring Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping 58183, Sweden;
3 Division of Infection and Inflammation, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping 58183, Sweden;
4 Institute of Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT95 DL, United Kingdom;
5 School of Life Sciences, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154, USA;
6 Division of Surgery, Orthopedics and Oncology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Linköping 58183, Sweden
Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB), ubiquitous in soil and fresh and saltwater sources have been identified in the microbiome of humans and many animals. MTB endogenously produce magnetic nanocrystals enabling them to orient and navigate along geomagnetic fields. Similar magnetite deposits have been found throughout the tissues of the human brain, including brain regions associated with orientation such as the cerebellum and hippocampus, the origins of which remain unknown. Speculation over the role and source of MTB in humans, as well as any association with the brain, remain unanswered. We performed a metagenomic analysis of the gut microbiome of 34 healthy females as well as grey matter volume analysis in magnetite-rich brain regions associated with orientation and navigation with the goal of identifying specific MTB that could be associated with brain structure in orientation and navigation regions. We identified seven MTB in the human gut microbiome: Magnetococcus marinus, Magnetospira sp. QH-2, Magnetospirillum magneticum, Magnetospirillum sp. ME-1, Magnetospirillum sp. XM-1, Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense, and Desulfovibrio magneticus. Our preliminary results show significant negative associations between multiple MTB with bilateral flocculonodular lobes of the cerebellum and hippocampus (adjusted for total intracranial volume, uncorrected P<0.05). These findings indicate that MTB in the gut are associated with grey matter volume in magnetite-rich brain regions related to orientation and navigation. These preliminary findings support MTB as a potential biogenic source for brain magnetite in humans. Further studies will be necessary to validate and elucidate the relationship between these bacteria, magnetite concentrations, and brain function.
Key words:    magnetotactic bacteria    human microbiome    microbiota-gut-brain axis    magnetoreception   
Received: 2020-12-31   Revised: 2021-02-23
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Articles by Rozalyn A. SIMON
Articles by Purnika Damindi RANASINGHE
Articles by Nawroz BARAZANJI
Articles by Malin Bergman JUNGESTRÖM
Articles by Jie XU
Articles by Olga BEDNARSKA
Articles by Lena SERRANDER
Articles by Maria ENGSTRÖM
Articles by Dennis A. BAZYLINSKI
Articles by Åsa V. KEITA
Articles by Susanna WALTER
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