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
New study finds distinct microbes living next to corals
22.05.2019 | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Summit charts a course to uncover the origins of genetic diseases
22.05.2019 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future
When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...
Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells
The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
22.05.2019 | Life Sciences
22.05.2019 | Life Sciences
22.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy