GB-XMap: Assessing the risk of gut-brain cross-diseases

GB-XMap: Assessing the risk of gut-brain cross-diseases

Investigating the gut-brain-axis

The gut–brain axis (GBA) provides a bidirectional homeostatic communication between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. The interdisciplinary collaboration is going to fully explore a first comprehensive GBA cross-disease map of genetic, expression and regulatory changes associated with ulcerative colitis and schizophrenia disease entities.

Dysfunction of this axis can have pathophysiological consequences. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified >300 genome-wide significant risk loci for common inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD: Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, among others) and neuropsychiatric diseases (schizophrenia, bipolar disease, among others), and recently a cross-disease GWAS identified an increased risk of schizophrenia also tended to be associated with increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease. The key goal is to decipher the mechanisms of action of diseasepredisposing loci of the GBA. The e:Med consortia “Sysinflame” and “IntegraMent” have generated a wealth of DNA and mRNA data for ulcerative colitis (UC) and schizophrenia (SCZ) that awaits exploration. One objective of this project is to initiate a new strategic alliance between the e:Med centers (Bonn, Kiel) and the de.NBI partner (de.STAIR) in Rostock.