Could our intestinal microbiota be a veritable fountain of youth? In the quest for eternal youth, it would seem that transplantation of the faecal microbiota is a way to fight against aging. According to a recent English study published on April 29 in the scientific journal Microbiometransplanting faecal microbiota from young mice into older mice reversed the signs of aging in the gut, eyes and brain.
In light of this study, faecal transplants could be considered as a way to reverse the aging process. Scientists from the Quadram Institute and the University of East Anglia, England, who carried out this work have instead provided evidence that the transplantation of gut microbes from old mice causes inflammation in the brains of young recipients and deplete a key protein necessary for normal vision.
Fecal transplant: reverses harmful changes in the gut, eye and brain
Chronic age-related inflammation has indeed been associated with the activation of specific immune cells present in the brain. These cells were also overactivated in young mice that received aged microbiome transplants. In the eye, the team also found that specific proteins associated with retinal degeneration were elevated in young mice given microbiota from older mice.
Indeed, for better understand the effects of gut microbiota changes in the aging process, the scientists transferred gut microbes from old mice to healthy young mice, and vice versa. They then studied the impact of these modifications on the inflammatory signs of aging in the gut, brain, and eye, whose functions decline in old age. They thus found that the transplantation of microbiota from aged mice resulted in loss of gut wall integrity in younger people, allowing bacteria to pass through the circulation, which in turn triggers the immune system and inflammation in the brain and eyes.
Intestines: microbes regulate certain harmful effects of aging
However, in older mice, these adverse changes in the gut, eye and brain can be reversed by transplantation of gut microbiota from young mice. The microbiota of young mice and old mice that received young microbiota transplants was indeed enriched in beneficial bacteria that have been previously linked to good health in mice and humans.
These results demonstrate that the gut microbes may play a role in regulating some of the adverse effects of aging and pave the way for therapies based on gut microbes to combat decline in later life. “This groundbreaking study provides insights into how gut microbes regulate some of the adverse effects of aging, provides evidence for the direct involvement of gut microbes in aging and functional decline of the brain and vision, and provides a potential solution in the form of gut microbe replacement therapy“, details Professor Simon Carding, from Norwich Medical School at UEA and head of the gut microbes and health research program at the Quadram Institute.
Hope for degenerative eye and brain diseases
“We were excited to find that by modifying the gut microbiota of older people, we could save indicators of age-associated declinecommonly seen in degenerative eye and brain diseases,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Aimee Parker of the Quadram Institute. how we can manipulate our diet and gut bacteria to maximize good health in old age”.
If this study was carried out on mice, similar pathways exist in humans, and the human gut microbiota also changes significantly in old age, but the researchers caution against directly extrapolating their results to humans until similar studies have been done in older people. A new facility for Microbiota Replacement Therapy, also known as Fecal Microbiota Transplantation, is being built at the Quadram Institute, which will facilitate such trials, as well as other trials for related conditions. to the microbiota.