The interplay between the gut microbiota and brain functions: implication for metabolome and metabolic syndrome in schizophrenia (17-31852A)

Basic informations

Investigator: MUDr. Tomáš Páleníček, PhD.
Main recipient: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Co-recipient: Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics of the Czech Academy of Science - RNDr. Kateřina Fliegerova CSc.
Research period: 1/4/2017 – 30/6/2022
Total budget: 13,553,000 CZK
NIMH budget: 10,163,000 CZK
Supported by: Czech Health Research Council (AZV ČR)


Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a serious mental disease with high morbidity. The modern antipsychotics are effective in its therapy, but they may induce obesity and metabolic syndrome. Alteration in metabolism, changes in gut microbiota, gut barrier failure and low-grade chronic inflammation are all involved in pathogenesis of both SCZ and metabolic syndrome. Therefore, by analysis of microbiome, metabolome, gut barrier function and inflammatory response, new biomarkers for prediction of this serious therapy side-effect may be found. Moreover, by analyzing the key mechanisms in the pathogenesis of both conditions, this approach may even uncover suitable target for future therapy of SCZ or metabolic syndrome. We will use samples of blood, stool or urine, collected from patients with SCZ at the beginning of the antipsychotic treatment and after several months, when the presence or absence of the metabolic syndrome will be clearly apparent. Few animal experiments will be performed to identify the best possible targets before these will be used in full-scale investigation on humans.