Gut microbiota of the young ameliorates physical fitness of the aged in mice

Kwang H. Kim, Yusook Chung, Ji Won Huh, Dong Jin Park, Yejin Cho, Yeseul Oh, Haengdueng Jeong, Jaekyung Yoon, Ju Hee Kang, Hae Sol Shin, Hyoung Chin Kim, Soon Kyeong Kwon, Kyoung Yul Seo, Seung Hyun Oh, Je Kyung Seong, Sang Jun Ha, Ki Taek Nam, Jihyun F. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Aging is a natural process that an organism gradually loses its physical fitness and functionality. Great efforts have been made to understand and intervene in this deteriorating process. The gut microbiota affects host physiology, and dysbiosis of the microbial community often underlies the pathogenesis of host disorders. The commensal microbiota also changes with aging; however, the interplay between the microbiota and host aging remains largely unexplored. Here, we systematically examined the ameliorating effects of the gut microbiota derived from the young on the physiology and phenotypes of the aged. Results: As the fecal microbiota was transplanted from young mice at 5 weeks after birth into 12-month-old ones, the thickness of the muscle fiber and grip strength were increased, and the water retention ability of the skin was enhanced with thickened stratum corneum. Muscle thickness was also marginally increased in 25-month-old mice after transferring the gut microbiota from the young. Bacteria enriched in 12-month-old mice that received the young-derived microbiota significantly correlated with the improved host fitness and altered gene expression. In the dermis of these mice, transcription of Dbn1 was most upregulated and DBN1-expressing cells increased twice. Dbn1-heterozygous mice exhibited impaired skin barrier function and hydration. Conclusions: We revealed that the young-derived gut microbiota rejuvenates the physical fitness of the aged by altering the microbial composition of the gut and gene expression in muscle and skin. Dbn1, for the first time, was found to be induced by the young microbiota and to modulate skin hydration. Our results provide solid evidence that the gut microbiota from the young improves the vitality of the aged. [MediaObject not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number238
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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