Gut microbiota assessment in Moscow long-livers using next generation sequencing

Kashtanova DA1,2, Klimenko NS3, Strazhesko ID1, Tkacheva ON1, Starikova EV4, Glushchenko OE4, Gudkov EA4, Ilina EN4
About authors

1 Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow, Russia

2 Center for Strategic Planning and Management of Medical and Biological Health Risks, Moscow, Russia

3 Institute of Gene Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

4 Federal Research and Clinical Centre of Physical-Chemical Medicine, Moscow, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed: Daria A. Kashtanova
1-ya Leonova, 16, 129226; moc.liamg@avonathsak.rd

About paper

Funding: the study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Grant 19-34-80033).

Compliance with ethical standards: the study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University (Protocol № 2 dated March 18, 2016). Informed consent was obtained from all study participants.

Author contribution: Kashtanova DA — study design, participant recruitment, data interpretation, manuscript preparation; Klimenko NS — bioinformatic analysis, data interpretation, manuscript preparation; Strazhesko ID — study concept, manuscript revision; Tkacheva ON — study concept and design; Starikova EV — gut microbiota profiling, manuscript revision; Glushchenko OE, Gudkov DA — gut microbiota profiling; Ilina EN — final revision of the manuscript.

Received: 2020-07-01 Accepted: 2020-07-15 Published online: 2020-07-27

Demographic aging poses a challenge to the medical community, pressing for research into the biological factors promoting longevity and its features. Below, we look at the gut microbiota as one of such factors. The aim of this non-longitudinal study was to profile the gut microbiota of centenarians and to compare it with that of relatively healthy, younger Moscow residents. The study recruited 20 people aged 97–100 years (mean age 98 ± 1 year); the control group consisted of 92 individuals aged 53 ± 13 years. For each stool sample, the variable V3–V4 regions of the microbial 16S rRNA gene were sequenced. Primary analysis, read filtering and taxonomic identification were conducted in the QIIME 1.9 environment; reconstruction of metabolic pathways was aided by PICRUSt. Statistical analysis was performed by means of Python v. 3.2. A few differences were detected between the gut microbiota of centenarians and younger individuals: Bifidobacterium (р = 0.026) and Coprococcus eutactus (р = 0.026) were more abundant in centenarians, whereas Bacteroides (р = 0.003) and Prevotella (р = 0.002) were better represented in younger participants. The potential for butyric acid synthesis was higher in the group of centenarians (р = 0.048). Surprisingly, the gut microbiota of centenarians was more diverse and surprisingly beneficial for advanced age. Besides, the gut microbiota of centenarians might have more pronounced anti-inflammatory potential due to its ability to better synthesize butyric acid.

Keywords: aging, gut microbiota, longevity, butyric acid, systemic low-grade inflammation