WP 4 Central Nervous System and Stress Axis Function

This WP, led by Dr. Lukas Van Oudenhove and Dr. Ricard Farré (KUL), intends to identify central nervous system and stress axis mechanisms underlying mental and non-mental comorbidities in IBS. The function of central neuro-circuits will be identified by advanced brain imaging techniques in IBS patients of the cross-sectional cohort. The interaction of the central nervous system with the peripheral gut function (measured in WP3) and microbiome (WP5) will be assessed to identify multidimensional biological signatures of comorbidities in IBS. Moreover, in preclinical models, the effect of manipulating both the microbiota (i.e. microbiota-gut-to-brain effects) and the brain (i.e. brain-to-gut effects) will be assessed by inducing experimental stress in order to gain insight into the temporal and causal chain of events along the brain-gut-microbiota axis. The expected output of this WP will be the identification of brain and stress axis function patterns that differentiate IBS, comorbid IBS and health, and the underlying mechanisms.


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