Research ArticleGUT MICROBIOTA

Neurogenesis and prolongevity signaling in young germ-free mice transplanted with the gut microbiota of old mice

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Science Translational Medicine  13 Nov 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 518, eaau4760
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau4760

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Hidden benefits of a fecal transplant

Our gut microbiota evolves as we age, yet its effects on host physiology are not clearly understood. Kundu et al. now attempt to elucidate these effects by transplanting the gut microbiota of either young or old donor mice into young germ-free recipient mice. They report that young germ-free mice receiving gut microbiota transplants from old mouse donors exhibited increased hippocampal neurogenesis, intestinal growth, and activation of the prolongevity FGF21-AMPK-SIRT1 signaling pathways in the liver. Subsequent metagenomic analysis revealed the potential role of butyrate-producing microbes in mediating these effects. These findings collectively suggest that the gut microbiota of an old mouse host may have beneficial effects in a young mouse recipient.

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