University Of Tasmania

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Age-related colonic mucosal microbiome community shifts in monkeys

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 10:39 authored by Vemuri, R, Sherrill, C, Davis, MA, Kylie KavanaghKylie Kavanagh
Age-related changes in gut microbiome impact host health. The interactive relationship between the microbiome and physiological systems in an aged body system remains to be clearly defined, particularly in the context of inflammation. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate systemic inflammation, microbial translocation (MT), and differences between fecal and mucosal microbiomes. Ascending colon mucosal biopsies, fecal samples, and blood samples from healthy young and old female vervet monkeys were collected for 16S rRNA gene sequencing, MT, and cytokine analyses, respectively. To demonstrate microbial co-occurrence patterns, we used Kendall’s tau correlation measure of interactions between microbes. We found elevated levels of plasma LBP-1, MCP-1, and CRP in old monkeys, indicative of higher MT and systemic inflammation. Microbiome analysis revealed significant differences specific to age. At the phylum level, abundances of pathobionts such as Proteobacteria were increased in the mucosa of old monkeys. At the family level, Helicobacteriaceae was highly abundant in mucosal samples (old); in contrast, Ruminococcaceae were higher in the fecal samples of old monkeys. We found significantly lower Firmicutes:Bacteroidetes ratio and lower abundance of butyrate-producing microbes in old monkeys, consistent with less healthy profiles. Microbial community co-occurrence analysis on mucosal samples revealed 13 nodes and 41 associations in the young monkeys, but only 12 nodes and 21 associations in the old monkeys. Our findings provide novel insights into systemic inflammation and gut microbial interactions, highlight the importance of the mucosal niche, and facilitate further understanding of the decline in the stability of the microbial community with aging.


Publication title

Journals of Gerontology. Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences










Tasmanian School of Medicine


Gerontological Society Amer

Place of publication

1275 K Street Nw Suite 350, Washington, USA, Dc, 20005-4006

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 The Authors

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Health related to ageing