Faecal transplants reverse hallmarks of aging in mice

May 9, 2022
Faecal transplants reverse hallmarks of aging in mice

An unusual study by scientists at the Quadram Institute and University of East Anglia suggests gut bacteria contained in faecal matter may influence inflammation in the brain related to aging. This study involved several faecal transplants, from healthy young mice into aged mice, and also where the younger mice received faecal matter from older mice.

Circulating bacteria from the transplants triggered the immune system, causing over-activation of certain cells in the brains of the young mice, in addition to inflammation and retinal degeneration in the eyes.

Conversely, implanting faecal matter from the younger mice into older mice boosted levels of healthy bacteria previously shown to be linked to good health in both mice and humans, and has points to how hallmarks of aging in the brain, gut, and eyes might even be reversed through faecal transplants, a form of gut microbe replacement therapy.

“We were excited to find that by changing the gut microbiota of elderly [mice], we could rescue indicators of age-associated decline commonly seen in degenerative conditions of the eye and brain,” said Dr. Aimee Parker, Quadram Institute.

“Our results provide more evidence of the important links between microbes in the gut and healthy aging of tissues and organs around the body. We hope that our findings will contribute ultimately to understanding how we can manipulate our diet and our gut bacteria to maximise good health in later life.”

The scientists note that further work is needed before they can draw the same conclusions about humans, as the workings of the human gut microbiome is more intricate than that of mice.

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Category: Education, Features

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