Transplanting fecal microbiota from young into old mice can reverse hallmarks of aging in the gut, eyes, and brain of young mice.

The evidence has been provided by the scientists at the Quadram Institute and the University of East Anglia.

In contrast, the microbes in older mice cause inflammation in the brains of younger mice and reduce a key protein needed for normal vision.

The researcher also found that specific proteins associated with retinal degeneration were elevated in the young mice receiving microbiota from old donors.

These results show that intestinal pathogens play a role in controlling some of the harmful effects of aging.

The research was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation.

‘Fecal microbiota transfer between young and aged mice reverses hallmarks of the aging gut, eye, and brain’ is published in the journal Microbiome.

A new Faecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) facility is being built in the Quadram Institute of East Anglia.

 The FMT will work on microbiota replacement therapy (MRT) as well as other trials for microbiota-related conditions.

In ongoing studies, the team is now working to understand how long these positive effects can last.

The researcher are also working to identify the beneficial components of the young donor microbiota and how they impact on organs distant from the gut.

This study opens up the possibility of gut microbe-based therapy to combat the decline in later life.