Research press release


Nature Aging

Aging: Young microbiota rejuvenates aging-associated brain changes in mice

若齢マウスの腸の微生物相を高齢マウスに移植することで、加齢に伴って脳内に生じた特定の変化を阻害できるという研究結果を報告する論文が、Nature Aging に掲載される。この知見は、腸の微生物相の移植が、加齢に伴う認知機能低下の治療法として有用な可能性を示唆している。


今回、John Cryan、Marcus Boehmeたちは、若齢(3~4か月齢)と高齢(19~20か月齢)のドナーマウスの腸から採取した糞便微生物を、高齢のレシピエントマウス(19~20か月齢)にそれぞれ移植する実験を行った。その結果、高齢マウスの免疫系における加齢に伴う変化が、若齢マウスの腸の微生物相の移植によって元に戻ることが分かった。また、若齢ドナーマウス由来の糞便移植を受けた高齢マウスの脳も若返り、その脳内では、若齢マウスの脳に似た代謝産物と遺伝子調節パターンが認められた。さらに、若齢マウスからの糞便移植を受けた高齢マウスは、学習、記憶、不安を調べる複数の認知機能検査で、行動成績が向上した。


Transplanting gut microbiota from young to old mice can counteract specific aging-associated changes in the brain, according to a study published in Nature Aging. The findings suggest that such transplants may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of aging-associated cognitive decline.

Microorganisms that live on and in the human body have an impact on health and vary with age. ‘Friendly’ bacteria — which have beneficial effects on the metabolic and immune systems — can be gradually replaced with bacteria that drive chronic inflammation, metabolic dysfunction and disease. Microorganisms in the gut shape local immunity, but can also affect brain aging and increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

John Cryan, Marcus Boehme and colleagues transplanted fecal microbes from the gut of either young (3–4 months) or old (19–20 months) donor mice into old recipient mice (19–20 months). The team found that aging-associated changes in the immune system of the old mice were reversed by the transfer of gut microbiota from the young mice. The brains of old mice receiving young donor-derived fecal transplants were also rejuvenated and contained metabolites and patterns of gene regulation that resembled the brains of the younger mice. Furthermore, fecal transplants from young mice improved the behavior of older mice in several cognitive tests for learning, memory and anxiety.

The authors conclude that these findings reveal the potential of the gut microbiome as a therapeutic target for the promotion of healthy aging. Future research is needed to explore how specific bacteria or their metabolites within the microbiome may be responsible for these effects.

doi: 10.1038/s43587-021-00093-9


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