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Am J Primatol. 2019 Feb;81(2):e22960. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22960. Epub 2019 Feb 25.

Age-related changes in the marmoset gut microbiome.

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Phamacotherapy Division, College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas.
Pharmacotherapy Education & Research Center, University of Texas Health San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas.
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho.
Department of Science and Mathematics, Texas A&M University San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas.
Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Research, University of Texas Health San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas.
Southwest National Primate Research Center, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas.


The gut microbiome is known to play a significant role in human health but its role in aging remains unclear. The objective of this study was to compare the gut microbiome composition between young adult and geriatric non-human primates (marmosets) as a model of human health and disease. Stool samples were collected from geriatric (8+ years) and young adult males (2-5 years). Stool 16S ribosomal RNA V4 sequences were amplified and sequenced on the Illumina MiSeq platform. Sequences were clustered into operational taxonomic units and classified via Mothur's Bayesian classifier referenced against the Greengenes database. A total of 10 young adult and 10 geriatric marmosets were included. Geriatric marmosets had a lower mean Shannon diversity compared with young marmosets (3.15 vs. 3.46; p = 0.0191). Geriatric marmosets had a significantly higher mean abundance of Proteobacteria (0.22 vs. 0.09; p = 0.0233) and lower abundance of Firmicutes (0.15 vs. 0.19; p = 0.0032) compared with young marmosets. Geriatric marmosets had a significantly higher abundance of Succinivibrionaceae (0.16 vs. 0.01; p = 0.0191) and lower abundance of Porphyromonadaceae (0.07 vs. 0.11; p = 0.0494). In summary, geriatric marmosets had significantly altered microbiome diversity and composition compared with young adult marmosets. Further studies are needed to test microbiome-targeted therapies to improve healthspan and lifespan.


aging; dysbiosis; geriatrics; gut microbiota; marmoset; microbiome

[Available on 2020-02-25]

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