Back to Journals » Nature and Science of Sleep » Volume 12

Gut Microbiota Changes and Their Relationship with Inflammation in Patients with Acute and Chronic Insomnia

Authors Li Y, Zhang B, Zhou Y, Wang D, Liu X, Li L, Wang T, Zhang Y, Jiang M, Tang H, Amsel LV, Fan F, Hoven CW

Received 15 July 2020

Accepted for publication 14 September 2020

Published 5 November 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 895—905


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Steven A Shea

Yuanyuan Li,1,2,* Bin Zhang,3,* Ya Zhou,4 Daoming Wang,5 Xianchen Liu,1,6 Lin Li,1 Tong Wang,1 Yuechu Zhang,1 Min Jiang,1 Huilan Tang,7 Lawrence V Amsel,7 Fang Fan,1 Christina W Hoven7

1Key Laboratory of Brain, Cognition and Education Sciences, Ministry of Education, China; School of Psychology, Center for Studies of Psychological Application, and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 2Expressive Arts Therapy Department, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Psychiatry, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Psychology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; 5School of Future Technology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 6The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, USA; 7Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Fang Fan
School of Psychology, Center for Studies of Psychological Application, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: The major purpose of this study was to detect the changes in gut microbiota composition and inflammatory cytokines production associated with acute and chronic insomnia. This study also evaluated the relationship between gut microbiota changes and increased inflammatory cytokines in insomnia patients.
Patients and Methods: Outpatients with acute and chronic insomnia (aged 26– 55 years; n=20 and 38, respectively) and age/gender-matched healthy controls (n=38) were recruited from a southern China region. Participants’ gut microbiome, plasma cytokines, and self-reported sleep quality and psychopathological symptoms were measured.
Results: The gut microbiomes of insomnia patients compared with healthy controls were characterized by lower microbial richness and diversity, depletion of anaerobes, and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA)-producing bacteria, and an expansion of potential pathobionts. Lachnospira and Bacteroides were signature bacteria for distinguishing acute insomnia patients from healthy controls, while Faecalibacterium and Blautia were signature bacteria for distinguishing chronic insomnia patients from healthy controls. Acute/chronic insomnia-related signature bacteria also showed correlations with these patients’ self-reported sleep quality and plasma IL-1β.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that insomnia symptomology, gut microbiota, and inflammation may be interrelated in complex ways. Gut microbiota may serve as an important indicator for auxiliary diagnosis of insomnia and provide possible new therapeutic targets in the field of sleep disorders.

Keywords: acute insomnia, chronic insomnia, gut microbiome, inflammatory cytokines, random forest

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]