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Gut Microbes


Trillions of microbes live symbiotically in the host, specifically in mucosal tissues such as the gut. Recent advances in metagenomics and metabolomics have revealed that the gut microbiota plays a critical role in the regulation of host immunity and metabolism, communicating through bidirectional interactions in the microbiota-gut-brain axis (MGBA). The gut microbiota regulates both gut and systemic immunity and contributes to the neurodevelopment and behaviors of the host. With aging, the composition of the microbiota changes, and emerging studies have linked these shifts in microbial populations to age-related neurological diseases (NDs). Preclinical studies have demonstrated that gut microbiota-targeted therapies can improve behavioral outcomes in the host by modulating microbial, metabolomic, and immunological profiles. In this review, we discuss the pathways of brain-to-gut or gut-to-brain signaling and summarize the role of gut microbiota and microbial metabolites across the lifespan and in disease. We highlight recent studies investigating 1) microbial changes with aging; 2) how aging of the maternal microbiome can affect offspring health; and 3) the contribution of the microbiome to both chronic age-related diseases (e.g., Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and cerebral amyloidosis), and acute brain injury, including ischemic stroke and traumatic brain injury.


Microbiome, gut-brain axis, aging, maternal microbiome, neurodegeneration, neurological disorders, microbial metabolites, blood-brain barrier



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