Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

New insights into the impact of Lactobacillus population on host-bacteria metabolic interplay

Caroline I. Le Roy, Jelena Štšepetova, Epp Sepp, Epp Songisepp, Sandrine P. Claus and Marika Mikelsaar _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:30545-30556. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5906

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Caroline I. Le Roy1,*, Jelena Štšepetova2,*, Epp Sepp2, Epp Songisepp3, Sandrine P. Claus1 and Marika Mikelsaar2

1 Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, The University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, United Kingdom

2 Department of Microbiology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

3 Bio-competence Center of Healthy Dairy Production LLC, Tartu, Estonia

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Marika Mikelsaar, email:

Sandrine P. Claus, email:

Keywords: Lactobacillus, immunology, elderly, nuclear magnetic resonance, Gerotarget

Received: July 12, 2015 Accepted: August 28, 2015 Published: October 02, 2015


We aimed at evaluating the association between intestinal Lactobacillus sp. composition and their metabolic activity with the host metabolism in adult and elderly individuals. Faecal and plasma metabolites were measured and correlated to the Lactobacillus species distribution in healthy Estonian cohorts of adult (n = 16; < 48 y) and elderly (n = 33; > 65 y). Total cholesterol, LDL, C-reactive protein and glycated hemoglobin were statistically higher in elderly, while platelets, white blood cells and urinary creatinine were higher in adults. Aging was associated with the presence of L. paracasei and L. plantarum and the absence of L. salivarius and L. helveticus. High levels of intestinal Lactobacillus sp. were positively associated with increased concentrations of faecal short chain fatty acids, lactate and essential amino acids. In adults, high red blood cell distribution width was positively associated with presence of L. helveticus and absence of L. ruminis. L. helveticus was correlated to lactate and butyrate in faecal waters. This indicates a strong relationship between the composition of the gut Lactobacillus sp. and host metabolism. Our results confirm that aging is associated with modulations of blood biomarkers and intestinal Lactobacillus species composition. We identified specific Lactobacillus contributions to gut metabolic environment and related those to blood biomarkers. Such associations may prove useful to decipher the biological mechanisms underlying host-gut microbial metabolic interactions in an ageing population.

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