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Papers of the Week

2023 Jan 27

Aging Cell

Bifidobacterium longum supplementation improves age-related delays in fracture repair.


Roberts JL, Golloshi M, Harding DB, Conduah M, Liu G, Drissi H
Aging Cell. 2023 Jan 27:e13786.
PMID: 36704918.


Age-related delays in bone repair remains an important clinical issue that can prolong pain and suffering. It is now well established that inflammation increases with aging and that this exacerbated inflammatory response can influence skeletal regeneration. Recently, simple dietary supplementation with beneficial probiotic bacteria has been shown to influence fracture repair in young mice. However, the contribution of the gut microbiota to age-related impairments in fracture healing remains unknown. Here, we sought to determine whether supplementation with a single beneficial probiotic species, Bifidobacterium longum (B. longum), would promote fracture repair in aged (18-month-old) female mice. We found that B. longum supplementation accelerated bony callus formation which improved mechanical properties of the fractured limb. We attribute these pro-regenerative effects of B. longum to preservation of intestinal barrier, dampened systemic inflammation, and maintenance of the microbiota community structure. Moreover, B. longum attenuated many of the fracture-induced systemic pathologies. Our study provides evidence that targeting the gut microbiota using simple dietary approaches can improve fracture healing outcomes and minimize systemic pathologies in the context of aging.