The altered cerebral energy metabolism central to schizophrenia can be linked to lactate accumulation. Lactic acid is produced by gastrointestinal bacteria, among others, and readily crosses the blood–brain barrier, leading to the brain acidity. This study aimed to examine the association of the oral microbiota with the effects of acid stress induced by an increase of brain lactate in schizophrenia patients. The study included patients with a diagnosis of acute polyphasic psychotic disorder meeting criteria for schizophrenia at 3-month follow-up. Results: Individuals with a significantly higher total score on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale had statistically significantly lower lactate concentrations compared to those with a lower total score and higher brain lactate. We observed a positive correlation between Actinomyces and lactate levels in the anterior cingulate cap and a negative correlation between bacteria associated with lactate metabolism and some clinical assessment scales. Conclusions: Shifts in the oral microbiota in favour of lactate-utilising bacterial genera may represent a compensatory mechanism in response to increased lactate production in the brain. Assessment of neuronal function mediated by ALA-LAC-dependent NMDA regulatory mechanisms may, thus, support new therapies for schizophrenia, for which acidosis has become a differentiating feature of individuals with schizophrenia endophenotypes.
- brain lactate
- oral microbiota
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)