University of Oulu

Kaisanlahti A, Salmi S, Kumpula S, Amatya SB, Turunen J, Tejesvi M, Byts N, Tapiainen T and Reunanen J (2023) Bacterial extracellular vesicles – brain invaders? A systematic review. Front. Mol. Neurosci. 16:1227655. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2023.1227655

Bacterial extracellular vesicles – brain invaders? : a systematic review

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Author: Kaisanlahti, Anna1,2; Salmi, Sonja3; Kumpula, Sohvi1,2;
Organizations: 1Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Research Unit of Translational Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Disease Networks Research Unit, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Research Unit of Clinical Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Department of Ecology and Genetics, Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-24


Introduction: Knowledge on the human gut microbiota in health and disease continues to rapidly expand. In recent years, changes in the gut microbiota composition have been reported as a part of the pathology in numerous neurodegenerative diseases. Bacterial extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been suggested as a novel mechanism for the crosstalk between the brain and gut microbiota, physiologically connecting the observed changes in the brain to gut microbiota dysbiosis.

Methods: Publications reporting findings on bacterial EVs passage through the blood–brain barrier were identified in PubMed and Scopus databases.

Results: The literature search yielded 138 non-duplicate publications, from which 113 records were excluded in title and abstract screening step. From 25 publications subjected to full-text screening, 8 were excluded. The resulting 17 publications were considered for the review.

Discussion: Bacterial EVs have been described with capability to cross the blood–brain barrier, but the mechanisms behind the crossing remain largely unknown. Importantly, very little data exists in this context on EVs secreted by the human gut microbiota. This systematic review summarizes the present evidence of bacterial EVs crossing the blood–brain barrier and highlights the importance of future research on gut microbiota-derived EVs in the context of gut-brain communication across the blood–brain barrier.

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Series: Frontiers in molecular neuroscience
ISSN: 1662-5099
ISSN-E: 1662-5099
ISSN-L: 1662-5099
Volume: 16
Article number: 1227655
DOI: 10.3389/fnmol.2023.1227655
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
Funding: JR thanks the Academy of Finland for grants 328768 and 299749. AK thanks the Finnish Cultural Foundation for grant 00220426 and Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation for grant 20217413.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 328768
Detailed Information: 328768 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
299749 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2023 Kaisanlahti, Salmi, Kumpula, Amatya, Turunen, Tejesvi, Byts, Tapiainen and Reunanen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.