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    Impairment of gastrointestinal function and reduction of nutrient absorption associated with aging contribute to increased risk of malnutrition in the elderly population, resulting in physical weakness and vulnerability to disease. The present study was performed to examine the relationships between aging-associated morphological changes of the small intestine and nutrient malabsorption using senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) mice. Comparison of the morphology of the small intestine of young (22-week-old) and senescent (43-week-old) SAMP8 mice showed no significant changes in villus length, while the mRNA expression levels of secretory cell marker genes were significantly reduced in senescent mice. In addition, crypts recovered from the small intestine of senescent mice showed a good capacity to form intestinal organoids ex vivo, suggesting that the regenerative capacity of intestinal stem cells (ISCs) was unaffected by accelerated senescence. These results indicated that changes induced by accelerated senescence in the small intestine of SAMP8 mice are different from changes reported previously in normal aging mouse models. Biochemical analyses of serum before and during senescence also indicated that senescent SAMP8 mice are not in a malabsorption state. Furthermore, a diet supplemented with persimmon pectin had a mild effect on the small intestine of senescent SAMP8 mice. Intestinal villus length was slightly increased in the medial part of the small intestine of pectin-fed mice. In contrast, intestinal crypt formation capacity was enhanced by the pectin diet. Organoid culture derived from the small intestine of mice fed pectin exhibited a greater number of lobes per organoid compared with those from mice fed a control diet, and Lyz1 and Olfm4 mRNA levels were significantly increased. In conclusion, accelerated senescence induced exclusive changes in the small intestine, which were not related to nutrient malabsorption. Therefore, the SAMP8 strain may not be a suitable model to evaluate the effects of aging on intestinal homeostasis and nutrient absorption impairment. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.


    Sana Ben Othman, Kenji Ido, Ryoya Masuda, Saki Gotoh, Ritsuko Hosoda-Yabe, Kohji Kitaguchi, Tomio Yabe. Senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 mice exhibit specific morphological changes in the small intestine during senescence and after pectin supplemented diet. Experimental gerontology. 2020 Dec;142:111099

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    PMID: 33011215

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