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Microbiota from young mice counteracts selective age-associated behavioral deficits

Boehme M, Guzzetta KE, Bastiaanssen TFS, van de Wouw M, Moloney GM, Gual-Grau A, Spichak S, Olavarría-Ramírez L, Fitzgerald P, Morillas E, Ritz NL, Jaggar M, Cowan CSM, Crispie F, Donoso F, Halitzki E, Neto MC, Sichetti M, Golubeva AV, Fitzgerald RS, Claesson MJ, Cotter PD, O’Leary OF, Dinan TG, Cryan JF (2021) Nature Aging  1 666–676  

Web URL: Read this article via Nature Aging here


The gut microbiota is increasingly recognized as an important regulator of host immunity and brain health. The aging process yields dramatic alterations in the microbiota, which is linked to poorer health and frailty in elderly populations. However, there is limited evidence for a mechanistic role of the gut microbiota in brain health and neuroimmunity during aging processes.

Therefore, we conducted fecal microbiota transplantation from either young (3–4 months) or old (19–20 months) donor mice into aged recipient mice (19–20 months).

Transplant of a microbiota from young donors reversed aging-associated differences in peripheral and brain immunity, as well as the hippocampal metabolome and transcriptome of aging recipient mice.

Finally, the young donor-derived microbiota attenuated selective age-associated impairments in cognitive behavior when transplanted into an aged host.

Our results reveal that the microbiome may be a suitable therapeutic target to promote healthy aging.


See the associated news / blog article written by the senior author of this study, which gives an overview of the background research in this area, putting these important findings and their implications into perspective:

For a shorter summary and FAB comment, see also:

And for more information on this subject, see also: