The role of the gut microbiome in sarcopenia

01 October 2017 → 31 December 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
No data available
Project description

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass, strength and function with ageing. It represents an

important health issue of the 21st century because of its devastating effects on quality and length

of life in addition to an increased prevalence of aged people. The mechanisms that might lead to

sarcopenia are still poorly understood. However, recent studies indicate a link between sarcopenia

and the microbes in the gut, the so-called microbiome.

Our goal is to investigate potential mechanistic links between the microbiome and sarcopenia,

with particular attention to specific bacterial metabolites (quorum sensing molecules) as bacterial

mediators and specific immune cells (invariant natural killer T cells) as host mediators. Besides

bacteria ‘ensing each other’(intracommunication), quorum sensing molecules have been shown

to be involved in bacteria-host interactions (intercommunication), playing a role in different

disease states. Their role in sarcopenia, however, has not yet been investigated. Invariant natural

killer T cells are a specialized type of immune cells known to communicate with the gut microbiota

and also known to play a role in different disease states. Preliminary data from our group suggest

that they may be involved in sarcopenia. We will further investigate this interaction.

Overall, this project will uncover new insights into the role of microbiota in sarcopenia, which may

have impact on both prevention and therapy of sarcopenia.