Aging and sarcopenia associate with specific interactions between gut microbes, serum biomarkers and host physiology in rats

Aging (Albany NY). 2017 Jul 17;9(7):1698-1720. doi: 10.18632/aging.101262.


The microbiome has been demonstrated to play an integral role in the maintenance of many aspects of health that are also associated with aging. In order to identify areas of potential exploration and intervention, we simultaneously characterized age-related alterations in gut microbiome, muscle physiology and serum proteomic and lipidomic profiles in aged rats to define an integrated signature of the aging phenotype. We demonstrate that aging skews the composition of the gut microbiome, in particular by altering the Sutterella to Barneseilla ratio, and alters the metabolic potential of intestinal bacteria. Age-related changes of the gut microbiome were associated with the physiological decline of musculoskeletal function, and with molecular markers of nutrient processing/availability, and inflammatory/immune status in aged versus adult rats. Altogether, our study highlights that aging leads to a complex interplay between the microbiome and host physiology, and provides candidate microbial species to target physical and metabolic decline during aging by modulating gut microbial ecology.

Keywords: aging; lipidomics; microbiome; muscle physiology; proteomics; sarcopenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome* / physiology
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Genomics
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Rats
  • Sarcopenia*


  • Biomarkers