IBS disturbs communication along the microbiota-gut-brain axis in IBS, with well-documented changes in the microbiota composition accompanied by effects such as anxiety and depression symptom.
A new study published in Gut Microbes indicated that eight to ten days of supplementation with the pasteurised strain of Akkermansia muciniphila significantly reduced these detrimental effects, and also reduced chronic abdominal pain in laboratory mice with IBS.
“Our study was based on the characterization of the neuromodulatory activity of pasteurized A. muciniphila bacteria in an attempt to find a new non-pharmacological approach to relieve chronic abdominal pain and anxio-depressive symptoms in IBS subjects,” the researchers wrote.
Akkermansia, and the A. muciniphila species in particular, has attracted growing interest for its health-promoting effects. In rodents, treatment with A. muciniphila reduces obesity and related disorders, such as glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and gut permeability.
The species A. muciniphila reportedly has an abundance of about 3% in the human colon, and its abundance in the intestinal mucus layer is inversely correlated with BMI, type 1 diabetes and bowel disease in humans. Akkermansia is known to produce nutrients that feed intestinal cells responsible for producing the intestinal mucus layer, helping to maintain healthy intestinal barrier function, control gut permeability, and control low grade inflammation in the gut.
Much of the research into the species has been conducted in Belgium at the Catholic University of Louvain, and a spin-off company called The Akkermansia Company was launched several years ago focusing on commercial development of A. muciniphila products.
The company achieved novel foods approval in Europe for pasteurised A. muciniphila in 2021.
The new study was conducted by scientists from the University of Clermont Auvergne, Wageningen University, The Akkermansia Company, Université Catholique de Louvain using pasteurized A. muciniphila MucT (ATTC BAA-835). The Akkermansia Company co-funded the study.
The study employed two clinically relevant animal models to mimic IBS-like symptoms, both of which were used to assess gut permeability, colonic sensitivity, faecal microbiota composition and expression of IL-22 in the colon (IL-22 is a fundamental mediator in inflammation). Lab mice were fed the two different doses of the pasteurized probiotic for eight or ten consecutive days. The neuromodulation ability of pasteurized A. muciniphila was also assessed.
Results showed that Akkermansia supplementation in both models of IBS was association with a significant reduction in colonic hypersensitivity, with the intestinal barrier function reinforced in both models.
The researchers also observed beneficial effects on anxiety-like behaviour and memory defects in lab mice.
“Our study is the first to describe the direct beneficial effect of pasteurized A. muciniphila on colonic sensitivity and to suggest that it could relieve chronic abdominal pain,” the researchers concluded.
Source: Gut Microbes
16:1, doi: 10.1080/19490976.2023.2298026
“Pasteurized Akkermansia muciniphila improves irritable bowel syndrome-like symptoms and related behavioral disorders in mice”
Authors: M. Meynier, et al.