Role of intestinal permeability and inflammation in the biological and behavioral control of alcohol-dependent subjects

Sophie Leclercq, Patrice D Cani, Audrey M Neyrinck, Peter Stärkel, François Jamar, Moïra Mikolajczak, Nathalie M Delzenne, Philippe de Timary
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 2012, 26 (6): 911-8

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Mood and cognition alterations play a role in the motivation for alcohol-drinking. Lipopolysaccharides are known to stimulate inflammation that was shown to induce mood and cognitive changes in rodents and humans. Enhanced intestinal permeability and elevated blood LPS characterize alcohol-dependent mice. However, no data have been published in non-cirrhotic humans. Our first goal was to test whether intestinal permeability, blood LPS and cytokines are increased in non-cirrhotic alcohol-dependent subjects before withdrawal and if they recover after withdrawal. Our second goal was to test correlations between these biochemical and the behavioral variables to explore the possibility of a role for a gut-brain interaction in the development of alcohol-dependence.

METHODS: Forty alcohol-dependent-subjects hospitalized for a 3-week detoxification program were tested at onset (T1) and end (T2) of withdrawal and compared for biological and behavioral markers with 16 healthy subjects. Participants were assessed for gut permeability, systemic inflammation (LPS, TNFα, IL-6, IL-10, hsCRP) and for depression, anxiety, alcohol-craving and selective attention.

RESULTS: Intestinal permeability and LPS were largely increased in alcohol-dependent subjects at T1 but recovered completely at T2. A low-grade inflammation was observed at T1 that partially decreased during withdrawal. At T1, pro-inflammatory cytokines were positively correlated with craving. At T2 however, the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 was negatively correlated with depression, anxiety and craving.

CONCLUSION: Leaky gut and inflammation were observed in non-cirrhotic alcohol-dependent subjects and inflammation was correlated to depression and alcohol-craving. This suggests that the gut-brain axis may play a role in the pathogenesis of alcohol-dependence.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"