Therapeutic strategies of small molecules in the microbiota–gut–brain axis for alcohol use disorder

The microbiotagutbrain axis (MGBA) is important in maintaining the structure and function of the central nervous system (CNS) and is regulated by the CNS environment and signals from the peripheral tissues. However, the mechanism and function of the MGBA in alcohol use disorder (AUD) are still not completely understood. In this review, we investigate the underlying mechanisms involved in the onset of AUD and/or associated neuronal defificits and create a foundation for better treatment (and prevention) strategies. We summarize recent reports focusing on the alteration of the MGBA in AUD. Importantly, we highlight the properties of small-molecule short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), neurotransmitters, hormones, and peptides in the MGBA and discusses their usage as therapeutic agents against AUD.

Keywords: MGBA; AUD; SCFAs; neurotransmitters; hormones; peptides; therapeutic targets and interventions