Frailty is a major challenge for elders and its most obvious sign is the involuntary loss of skeletal muscle mass and function (sarcopenia). It is related to a series of economic and social implications, including hospitalization, morbidity, and mortality. A major challenge in finding a treatment for sarcopenia is its multifactorial origin. It involves several pathophysiological mechanisms and the cross-talk between different organs. The promising research endeavours in this area are the identification of early biomarkers and actionable mechanisms. Age-related dysbiosis has been recently proposed as a hallmark of ageing. We hypothesize that dysbiosis plays a key role in the development of sarcopenia. This may represent a key biomarker regulating the transition between healthy, pre-frail and frail. Using a multi-omic approach we will now dissect the role of gut microbiota in the development of sarcopenia and identify tissue cross-talk regulators modulated by the microbiota.
The ability to manipulate the microbiota holds great potential towards improving human health. By identifying bacterial species and their metabolites that regulate key signaling/cellular processes in sarcopenia during ageing, this proposal will create new therapeutic opportunities. Further, it can lead to the identification of early predictive molecular biomarkers of sarcopenia that may inform medical decisions based on the future profiling of a patient’s genetics and microbiome function.
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Francesca Solagna, Daniel Martinez-Martinez,
Jennifer Van der Laan, Marie Blickling,
Andreea Aprodu, Kristin Gehling