Clinical usage of several classes of antibiotics is associated with moderate to severe side effects due to the promotion of mitochondrial dysfunction. The authors suggest that this may be due to perturbation of unique evolutionary relationships that link selective biochemical and molecular aspects of mitochondrial biology to conserved enzymatic processes derived from bacterial progenitors. “These issues are of critical importance in evaluating potentially severe side effects of antibiotics on complex behavioral functions mediated by CNS neuronal groups. The CNS is extremely dependent on delivery of molecular oxygen for maintaining a required level of metabolic activity, as reflected by the high concentration of neuronal mitochondria. Thus, it is not surprising to find several distinct behavioral abnormalities conforming to established psychiatric criteria that are associated with antibiotic usage in humans. The manifestation of acute and/or chronic psychiatric conditions following antibiotic usage may provide unique insights into key etiological factors of major psychiatric syndromes that involve rundown of cellular bioenergetics via mitochondrial dysfunction. Thus, a potential window of opportunity exists for development of novel therapeutic agents targeting diminished mitochondrial function as a factor in severe behavioral disorders.”
Stefano GB, Samuel J, Kream RM: Antibiotics May Trigger Mitochondrial Dysfunction Inducing Psychiatric Disorders. Med. Sci. Monit. 23: 101-106 (2017).