Preventing Age-Related Decline of Gut Compartmentalization Limits Microbiota Dysbiosis and Extends Lifespan

Cell Host Microbe. 2016 Feb 10;19(2):240-53. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2016.01.008.


Compartmentalization of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of metazoans is critical for health. GI compartments contain specific microbiota, and microbiota dysbiosis is associated with intestinal dysfunction. Dysbiosis develops in aging intestines, yet how this relates to changes in GI compartmentalization remains unclear. The Drosophila GI tract is an accessible model to address this question. Here we show that the stomach-like copper cell region (CCR) in the middle midgut controls distribution and composition of the microbiota. We find that chronic activation of JAK/Stat signaling in the aging gut induces a metaplasia of the gastric epithelium, CCR decline, and subsequent commensal dysbiosis and epithelial dysplasia along the GI tract. Accordingly, inhibition of JAK/Stat signaling in the CCR specifically prevents age-related metaplasia, commensal dysbiosis and functional decline in old guts, and extends lifespan. Our results establish a mechanism by which age-related chronic inflammation causes the decline of intestinal compartmentalization and microbiota dysbiosis, limiting lifespan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / growth & development*
  • Drosophila / metabolism
  • Drosophila / microbiology*
  • Dysbiosis / genetics
  • Dysbiosis / metabolism
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology*
  • Dysbiosis / physiopathology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / growth & development
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Janus Kinases / genetics
  • Janus Kinases / metabolism
  • STAT Transcription Factors / genetics
  • STAT Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • STAT Transcription Factors
  • Janus Kinases