Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Fecal microbiota transplant as a potential treatment for sarcopenia in elderly

Gonzalo Cruz, PhD; Claudia Ibacache Quiroga, PhD; Gonzalo Jorquera Olave, PhD

Competition Sponsor: National Agency for Research and Development of Chile

Sarcopenia is characterized by the progressive and generalized loss of muscle mass and strength, with a high risk of developing physical disability and poor quality of life in older adults. Wellbeing evaluations in old age showed that the elderly feared losing healthy body locomotion and functional independence more than developing any other disease. Gut microbiota becomes less diverse as we age. The biodiversity of gut microbiota is positively correlated to self-sufficiency in older adults. A decrease in intestinal bacteria biodiversity increases gut permeability to harmful elements, triggering an inflammatory response in skeletal muscle. Muscle inflammation leads to atrophy and death of muscle cells and the development of sarcopenia. On the contrary, young, and physically trained individuals have a greater biodiversity in their gut microbiota compared to older. Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is a novel and safe technique to recover bacterial intestinal diversity. We propose to carry out FMT from trained young donors to sarcopenic aged mice. We expect to restore the biodiversity of microorganisms in the recipient’s intestine and improving the health of skeletal muscle, preventing, or even treating sarcopenia in old age. We will evaluate FMT success through metagenomics analysis in stool samples and analyzing muscle performance. We will assess inflammation in skeletal muscle in old sarcopenic mice as well before and after FMT. Our idea, if effective, will have enormous consequences on the quality of life of patients, since it is an alternative to physical exercise therapy that older adults must do for preventing or treating sarcopenia

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