Publication Date



Drug Discovery Today


In the past three decades, research on the gut microbiome and its metabolites, such as trimethylamines (TMA), trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), bile acids, tryptophan and indole derivatives, has attracted the attention of many scientists and industrialists. Among these metabolites, TMAO is produced from dietary choline, phosphatidylcholine, carnitine,andbetaine. TMAO and other gut metabolites, such as TMA and SCFAs, reach the brain by crossing the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and are involved in brain development, neurogenesis, and behavior. Gut-microbiota composition is influenced by diet, lifestyle, antibiotics, and age. Several studies have confirmed that altered TMAO levels contribute to metabolic, vascular, psychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders. This review focuses on how altered TMAO levels impact oxidative stress, microglial activation, and the apoptosis of neurons, and may lead to neuroinflammation, which can subsequently result in the development of psychiatric, cognitive, and behavioral disorders.


trimethylamine oxide, gut microbiome, neurological disorder, neuropsychiatric disorder

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Neurology Commons



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