The mammalian gut is home to hundreds of bacterial species that contribute to food digestion and, in some cases, inflammatory gut diseases. Probiotics, beneficial bacterial species, can enhance gut health by keeping the resident bacteria in check. Now, a team of researchers at the RIKEN Innovation Center in Wako, including Mitsuharu Matsumoto, report that administration of the probiotic bacterial strain Bifidobacterium animalis subspecies lactis LKM512 to mice can lengthen their lifespan1.
Figure 1: Compared with untreated aging mice (left), LKM512 maintains a healthy gut lining in treated aging mice (right) (scale bar, 500 ìm).
Copyright : 2011 Mitsuharu Matsumoto et al.
Matsumoto and colleagues previously showed that LKM512 could reduce inflammatory markers in elderly humans and modify the makeup of intestinal bacteria2, but the effects of it on lifespan still required investigation. After starting 10-month-old mice on a diet including LKM512 for 11 months, the researchers found that LKM512-treated mice lived longer, had fewer skin lesions, and had better hair quality than untreated mice.
Analyses of the gut of these mice revealed elevated gene expression in some bacterial species compared with control mice, indicating that LKM512 may improve gut health indirectly by regulating the levels of other bacterial species. The LKM512 treatment also prevented some age-related changes in bacterial composition of the gut, suggesting that the probiotic treatment protects the gut from developing characteristics associated with aging.
Acting as a barrier between the bacteria and food within the gut and the rest of the human body is an important role of the gut lining. Breakdown of this lining can cause infectious or inflammatory diseases. The researchers found that the gut of LKM512-treated mice served as a stronger barrier than the gut of control mice. LKM512 seemed to perform this function by increasing the expression of various proteins that maintain the tight connection between gut epithelial cells.
Polyamines are chemicals that reduce inflammation, and their levels decrease as an individual ages. Matsumoto and colleagues observed increases in intestinal polyamine levels in LKM512-treated mice, which may be caused by the greater numbers of bacteria promoted by LKM512. The increase in polyamines caused by LKM512 appeared to reduce inflammation in the body of the mice, as inflammatory markers in the blood and urine were lower in LKM512-treated mice compared with controls. In aged mice treated with LKM512, inflammatory marker levels were similar to those observed in younger mice, indicating that adults can benefit from probiotics.
“In future work, we hope to clarify the effectiveness of LKM512 in humans,” explains Matsumoto. If the findings extend to humans, inclusion of LKM512 into the human diet could enhance overall health and increase the human lifespan.
The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Benno Laboratory, RIKEN Research Cluster for Innovation
Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'
16.03.2018 | Emory Health Sciences
Scientists map the portal to the cell's nucleus
16.03.2018 | Rockefeller University
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.
Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
08.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.03.2018 | Life Sciences