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Paraburkholderia sabiae administration alters zebrafish anxiety-like behavior via gut microbial taurine metabolism

16 Feb 2023

Summary of our research

Interventions to the gut microbiome manipulate the gut-brain axis and could be useful in the treatment of anxiety and depression. In this study, we demonstrated that administration of the bacterium Paraburkholderia sabiae reduces anxiety-like behavior in adult zebrafish. P. sabiae administration increased the diversity of the zebrafish gut microbiome. Linear discriminant analysis Effect Size (LEfSe) analysis revealed that the populations of Actinomycetales including Nocardiaceae, Nocardia, Gordoniaceae, Gordonia, Nakamurellaceae, and Aeromonadaceae were reduced, whereas those of Rhizobiales including Xanthobacteraceae, Bradyrhizobiaceae, Rhodospirillaceae, and Pirellulaceae were increased in the gut microbiome. Functional analysis using Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt2) predicted that P. sabiae administration altered taurine metabolism in the zebrafish gut, and we demonstrated that P. sabiae administration increased the taurine concentration in the brain. Since taurine functions as an antidepressant neurotransmitter in vertebrates, our results suggest that P. sabiae could improve anxiety-like behavior in zebrafish via the gut-brain axis.

This study was published in the online scientific journal "Frontiers in Microbiology" (Frontiers Media SA, Impact Factor 6.064) on 16 Feb, 2023.

Researcher information


Associate Professor, Department of Science, Facaluty of Education, Mie University Mie University Zebrafish Drug Screening Center

Specialized area:

Biochemistry, Applied microbiology

Current research field:

Screening of the functional microorganisms and their compounds

Liqing Zang

Specially Appointed Associate Professor, Graduate School of Regional Innovation Studies; Strategic Planning Office for Regional Revitalization

Specialized area:

Pharmacological genomics; Molecular biology; Experimental zoology; Genomic biology; Physiology

Current research field:

Development of type 2 diabetic nephropathy model zebrafish and discovery for therapeutic target genes

SHIMADA Yasuhito

Lecturer, Department of Integrative Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine Mie University Zebrafish Drug Screening Center

Specialized area:


Current research field:

Drug discovery using obesity and cancer model zebrafish