Dr Nicolas Cenac, PhD Physiopathology of Gut Brain Axis, Digestive health research institute, INSERM U1220 - Toulouse

Project description

The concept of “Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHD)”, popularized by the WHO under the name “the first 1000 days of life”, from the conception to the child's two years of age, is an integral part of current public health issues. This period is punctuated by extensive growth and constitutes a unique and critical window for the development of major physiological systems, determining future health status. 

Numerous epidemiological and experimental observations have demonstrated that exposure of this critical window to chemical, nutritional, social or psychosocial disturbances such as chronic stress during pregnancy, results in a predisposition to the development of metabolic, neuropsychic, inflammatory or non-inflammatory pathologies such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is the most common gastrointestinal disorder with a global prevalence of 5% and affects twice women than men. 

The notion of “functional disorder” results from the absence of quantifiable criteria in favor of an organic disorder. IBS, which is characterized by chronic visceral pain associated with transit disorders is define as an alteration of the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Recently, we demonstrated that prenatal stress induced visceral hypersensivity in mice. This hypersensitivity was correlated with taxonomic and functional dysbiosis of the microbiota. 

Among the three stages, which are crucial for the establishment of the intestinal microbiota: primary colonization by the maternal vaginal microbiota, lactation and weaning, we highlighted the importance of lactation in PS-induced visceral sensitivity phenotype. 

The aim of our project is to decipher the mechanism by which milk of stressed mother could impaired microbiota implantation leading to visceral pain in adults.

International grant's winning projects

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2021 International Grant winnerPr. Richard Delorme

Randomized controlled trial evaluating the effect of transplantation of fecal microbiota in children with autism spectrum disorders and gastrointestinal symptoms

Bercik_International winner
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2020 International Grant WinnerPr. Premysl Bercik

Clostridium difficile-induced post-infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Study of the mechanisms and treatments