γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a potent bioactive amino acid, and several studies have shown that oral administration of GABA induces relaxation, improves sleep, and reduces psychological stress and fatigue. In a recent study, we reported that exosomes derived from GABA-treated intestinal cells serve as signal transducers that mediate brain–gut interactions. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to verify the functionality of GABA-derived exosomes and to examine the possibility of improving memory function following GABA administration. The results showed that exosomes derived from GABA-treated intestinal cells (Caco-2) activated neuronal cells (SH-SY5Y) by regulating genes related to neuronal cell functions. Furthermore, we found that exosomes derived from the serum of GABA-treated mice also activated SH-SY5Y cells, indicating that exosomes, which are capable of activating neuronal cells, circulate in the blood of mice orally administered GABA. Finally, we performed a microarray analysis of mRNA isolated from the hippocampus of mice that were orally administered GABA. The results revealed changes in the expression of genes related to brain function. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) showed that oral administration of GABA affected the expression of genes related to memory function in the hippocampus.
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