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Development of a synbiotic product to modulate the Parkinson’s disease associated microbiome

Project description

A probiotic treatment for Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition associated with tremor and movement impairment. Many years before the onset of these neurological symptoms, many patients present with gastrointestinal symptoms and enteric inflammation associated with changes in gut permeability and microbiota composition. The EU-funded SyMPaBiome project is working on a prophylactic or disease-modulating strategy that can be implemented early on in high-risk patients to prevent or delay PD onset. The proposed solution aims to counteract the 2-hydroxypyridone metabolite, which is produced by archaea and seems to have a cytotoxic effect on the enteric nervous system.


SyMPaBiome aims to develop a synbiotic, a mixture of live biotherapeutic bacteria and a prebiotic, to modulate the Parkinson’s disease (PD) microbiome, with the threefold aim to decrease (1) the intestinal (neuro-)inflammation and (2) gut permeability associated with PD, as well as to (3) decrease the production of a recently discovered archaeal metabolite linked to PD development and progression. This synbiotic regimen will be the first mechanism-based synbiotic formulation, underpinned by functional read-outs from a unique gut-on-a-chip host-microbe interface model.
PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, and remains incurable. Gastrointestinal symptoms precede the characteristic motor symptoms by years to decades and there is evidence supporting initiation of the disease by enteric inflammation and changes in microbial community composition and function. Enteric inflammation in PD is exacerbated by an increased gut permeability and mucus-foraging bacteria are more abundant in the PD microbiome, while fibre-degrading bacteria are decreased. This offers the opportunity to develop prophylactic or disease-modulating products to address these changes in at-risk individuals or PD patients. Recently, the archaeal metabolite 2-hydroxypyridone (2-HP), a co-factor of the hydrogenase in hydrogenotrophic methanogenic archaea, has been implicated in idiopathic PD aetiology. Here, a preventive or disease modulating strategy is proposed to induce a shift in the microbiome and metabolome of at-risk individuals or PD patients and decrease 2-HP production and its cytotoxic effects on the enteric nervous system. In view of this, we aim to develop a synbiotic product that can restore the metabolic profile and microbial community in PD patients and has a protective effect on the intestinal mucus and epithelium. The outcomes of this project will be a synbiotic formulation, ready for in vivo testing, and a toolbox for mechanism-based development of synbiotic products.

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Net EU contribution
€ 166 320,00

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Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 166 320,00