Exploring the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis for Mental Disorders with Knowledge Graphs


  • Ting Liu Center for Integrative Bioinformatics VU (IBIVU), Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Xueli Pan Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR&R) Group, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Xu Wang
  • K. Anton Feenstra Center for Integrative Bioinformatics VU (IBIVU), Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Jaap Heringa Center for Integrative Bioinformatics VU (IBIVU), Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Zhisheng Huang Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR&R) Group, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands




Microbiota-gut-brain axis, Gut microbiota, Neurotransmitter, Mental disorder, Knowledge graph, Biomedical ontology


Gut microbiota has a significant influence on brain-related diseases through the communication routes of the gut-brain axis. Many species of gut microbiota produce a variety of neurotransmitters. In essence, the neurotransmitters are chemicals that influence mood, cognition, and behavior of the host. The relationships between gut microbiota and neurotransmitters has received much attention in medical and biomedical research. However, the integration of the various proposed neurotransmitter signal routes that underpin these relationships has not yet been studied well. To unlock the influence of gut microbiota on mental health via neurotransmitters, the microbiota-gut-brain (MGB) axis, we gather the decentralized results in the existing studies into a structured knowledge base. In this paper, we therefore propose a novel Microbiota Knowledge Graph based on a newly constructed knowledge graph for uncovering the potential associations among gut microbiota, neurotransmitters, and mental disorders which we refer to as MiKG. It includes many interfaces that link to well-known biomedical ontologies, e.g. UMLS, MeSH, KEGG, and SNOMED CT, and is extendable by linking to future ontologies to further exploit the relationships between gut microbiota and neurotransmitters. This paper present MiKG, an effective knowledge graph, that can be used to investigate the MGB axis using the relationships among gut microbiota, neurotransmitters, and mental disorders.


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How to Cite

Liu T, Pan X, Wang X, Feenstra KA, Heringa J, Huang Z. Exploring the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis for Mental Disorders with Knowledge Graphs. JAIMS [Internet]. 2021 May 5 [cited 2023 Feb. 4];1(3-4):30-42. Available from: http://oapublishing-jaims.com/jaims/article/view/77