The gut microbiome and insomnia

Reading microbiomes

Amplicon and shotgun sequencing 🧬 🔫

  1. Break genomes randomly into smaller fragments called reads
  2. Sequence each of those individual pieces
  3. Use software to find overlaps between the reads
  4. Join the reads that overlap to form ‘contigs’
  5. Join a lot of contigs to complete the full genome sequence

Artificial Intelligence



  1. Eyes tell send the brain light signals: the SCN receives input from photosensitive ganglion cells in the retina
  2. Neurons in the master clock activate genes according according to those signals: neurons in the ventrolateral SCN can activate their genes according to light input
  3. Those neurons tell other neurons what’s going on: they relay this information throughout the SCN allowing synchronization of the circadian rhythm
  4. In the day, the master clock blocks the pineal gland through substances: if there’s light, SCN secretes gamma-amino butyric acid to inhibit the neurons that synapse in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus with the pineal gland
  5. At night, the master clock tells the pineal gland to produce melatonin: when there is no light, the SCN secretes glutamate, responsible for the PVN transmission of the signal along the pathway to the pineal gland
  6. The pineal gland transforms tryptophan (an amino acid) into serotonin and then into melatonin: the pineal gland uses available tryptophan, decarboxylates it to get serotonin, and acetylates serotonin using AA-NAT to produce melatonin
  7. Once produced, melatonin is taken to the rest of the body through the Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF). In humans, melatonin’s half-life in blood is around 40 minutes

5 ways 🦠 affects sleep

  1. Immunoregulatory: gut microbiota interact with immune cells, ultimately influencing cytokine, cytokinetic reaction factor, and prostaglandin E2
  2. Neuroendocrine: over 20 types of enteroendocrine cells reside in the intestine. The gut microbiome can influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the central nervous system by regulating the secretion of neurotransmitters like serotonin, tryptophan, and cortisol
  3. Vagus nerve: the intestinal nervous system forms synapses with the vagus nerve which connects the intestine with the brain. Sensory neurons that are in contact with microbiota also form synapses with motor neurons which control hormone secretion

Microbes for good

Question marks

Bug💤: an idea



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