Unraveling the gut microbiome of the long-lived naked mole-rat

Pr. Gerd Birkenmeier one of major speaker of Targeting Microbiota 2017 inform us about his last study.

The naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber) is a subterranean mouse-sized African mammal that shows astonishingly few age-related degenerative changes and seems to not be affected by cancer. These features make this wild rodent an excellent model to study the biology of healthy aging and longevity. Here we characterize for the first time the intestinal microbial ecosystem of the naked mole-rat in comparison to humans and other mammals, highlighting peculiarities related to the specific living environment, such as the enrichment in bacteria able to utilize soil sulfate as a terminal electron acceptor to sustain an anaerobic oxidative metabolism. Interestingly, some compositional gut microbiota peculiarities were also shared with human gut microbial ecosystems of centenarians and Hadza hunter-gatherers, considered as models of a healthy gut microbiome and of a homeostatic and highly adaptive gut microbiota-host relationship, respectively. In addition, we found an enrichment of short-chain fatty acids and carbohydrate degradation products in naked mole-rat compared to human samples. These data confirm the importance of the gut microbial ecosystem as an adaptive partner for the mammalian biology and health, independently of the host phylogeny.

SCIENTIFIC Reports | 7: 9590 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-10287-0

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