Contribution of Gut Microbiota to Immunological Changes in Alzheimer’s Disease

Lynn van Olst*, Sigrid J.M. Roks, Alwin Kamermans, Barbara J.H. Verhaar, Anne M. van der Geest, Majon Muller, Wiesje M. van der Flier, Helga E. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Emerging evidence suggests that both central and peripheral immunological processes play an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but regulatory mechanisms remain unknown. The gut microbiota and its key metabolites are known to affect neuroinflammation by modulating the activity of peripheral and brain-resident immune cells, yet an overview on how the gut microbiota contribute to immunological alterations in AD is lacking. In this review, we discuss current literature on microbiota composition in AD patients and relevant animal models. Next, we highlight how microbiota and their metabolites may contribute to peripheral and central immunological changes in AD. Finally, we offer a future perspective on the translation of these findings into clinical practice by targeting gut microbiota to modulate inflammation in AD. Since we find that gut microbiota alterations in AD can induce peripheral and central immunological changes via the release of microbial metabolites, we propose that modulating their composition may alter ongoing inflammation and could therefore be a promising future strategy to fight progression of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number683068
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberMay
Early online date31 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financed by Horizon 2020 #686009 to HV.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 van Olst, Roks, Kamermans, Verhaar, van der Geest, Muller, van der Flier and de Vries.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • gut microbiota
  • immune cells
  • microbial metabolites
  • neuroinflammation
  • therapeutic intervention


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