Role of gut microbiota in aging-related health decline: insights from invertebrate models
Studies in mammals, including humans, have reported age-related changes in microbiota dynamics. A major challenge, however, is to dissect the cause and effect relationships involved. Invertebrate model organisms such as the fruit fly Drosophila and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have been invaluable in studies of the biological mechanisms of aging. Indeed, studies in flies and worms have resulted in the identification of a number of interventions that can slow aging and prolong life span. In this review, we discuss recent work using invertebrate models to provide insight into the interplay between microbiota dynamics, intestinal homeostasis during aging and life span determination. An emerging theme from these studies is that the microbiota contributes to cellular and physiological changes in the aging intestine and, in some cases, age-related shifts in microbiota dynamics can drive health decline in aged animals.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00018-017-2671-1
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