Gut microbiota-immune-brain interactions in chemotherapy-associated behavioral comorbidities

Kelley R. Jordan, Brett R. Loman, Michael T. Bailey, Leah M. Pyter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Increasing scientific attention is focused on the gut-brain axis, including the ability of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to modulate central nervous system function. Changes in the intestinal microbiome can influence affective-like behavior, cognitive performance, fatigue, and sleep in rodents and humans. Patients with cancer who are receiving chemotherapy experience similar negative behavioral changes and concurrent GI symptoms. These chemotherapy comorbidities can be long-lasting and may reduce patients' quality of life and motivation to comply with treatment. This review summarizes the clinical and preclinical evidence supporting a role for the intestinal microbiome in mediating behavioral comorbidities through peripheral immune activation in patients with cancer who are receiving chemotherapy. In addition, evidence suggesting that targeted modification of the intestinal microbiome during cancer treatment could ameliorate associated behavioral comorbidities is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3990-3999
Number of pages10
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • chemotherapy
  • cognition
  • gut microbiome
  • inflammation
  • mood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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