A Review of the Impact of Maternal Prenatal Stress on Offspring Microbiota and Metabolites

Venkata Yeramilli, Riadh Cheddadi, Juhi Shah, Kyle Brawner, Colin Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Maternal prenatal stress exposure affects the development of offspring. We searched for articles in the PubMed database and reviewed the evidence for how prenatal stress alters the composition of the microbiome, the production of microbial-derived metabolites, and regulates microbiome-induced behavioral changes in the offspring. The gut–brain signaling axis has gained considerable attention in recent years and provides insights into the microbial dysfunction in several metabolic disorders. Here, we reviewed evidence from human studies and animal models to discuss how maternal stress can modulate the offspring microbiome. We will discuss how probiotic supplementation has a profound effect on the stress response, the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and how psychobiotics are emerging as novel therapeutic targets. Finally, we highlight the potential molecular mechanisms by which the effects of stress are transmitted to the offspring and discuss how the mitigation of early-life stress as a risk factor can improve the birth outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number535
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • butyrate
  • intestine
  • microbiome
  • short chain fatty acids
  • stress


Dive into the research topics of 'A Review of the Impact of Maternal Prenatal Stress on Offspring Microbiota and Metabolites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this