Our body is full of bacteria; In skin, mouth, intestine and other tissues, we can find bacteria that carry out important biological processes. For example, several studies have shown that intestinal microbiome participates in many important processes for organisms such as digestion, immune responses, among others.
There are many discoveries on this issue, which are constantly published on the importance of human microbiome; However, recent research may disrupt some paradigms in the field. In this context, a team of researchers suggests that there may be bacterial communities similar to those found in our brains, intestines and other tissues.
Scientists discover bacterial communities in the human brain
The study was conducted by Rosalinda Roberts, a neuroanatomist. To this end, the investigator evaluated samples of brain tissue from 34 deceased people; Half of these people were diagnosed with schizophrenia and the rest were healthy. Thus, after analyzing the existing microorganisms, they discovered that these brains live in varying amounts of bacteria.
These microorganisms were rod-shaped and consisted of a capsule, a nucleoid, a ribosome and a vacuole, like any other bacterium. Specifically, the researchers have observed that the density of these bacterial populations varies depending on the brain structure being analyzed.
In this way, large quantities of microorganisms were found in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in the substantia nigra. In the same vein, the researchers discovered bacteria in brain cells called astrocytes, which play an important role in the neuronal communication process.
Beyond the identification of a possible brain microbiome, researchers now do not know the origin of these bacteria; In this respect, it is understood that the bacteria can settle here after they have been transported by the circulatory system from the intestine until they pass the blood-brain barrier into the brain. Nevertheless, it has not been established that these bacteria enter brain tissue after surgical contamination during autopsies.
The presence of brain microbiome should still be confirmed.
After this discovery, the researchers conducted experiments to discover that brain microbiome was not limited to humans; In this sense, when analyzing the brain of a group of healthy mice, the presence of bacteria has been proven. However, when working with mice grown in non-microbial environments under isolation conditions, it was not possible to observe the presence of this microbial. Therefore, it is still early to verify the results.
By synthesis, researchers have discovered that the human brain can be a nest of a certain microbial, like other tissues in our bodies. However, the research line is still at very early stages to get results as a definite thing.
On top of that, the researchers consider whether microbials are part of a healthy brain under normal conditions, given the fact that the origin of these bacteria is still unknown, or, on the contrary, the result of a contamination process during the study.
Even so, the presence of brain microbiome may change the field of neuroscience. Therefore, the researchers proposed to continue to analyze this phenomenon in order to determine whether there really is a microbial in the brain and its effect on health.
Reference: R. Roberts, C. B. Farmer, C. K. Walker, (2018). Human brain microbiome; We've got bacteria in our brains! Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Alabama