Microbiota-microglia connections in age-related cognition decline

Rui Zhou, Shufang Qian, William C.S. Cho, Jinyun Zhou, Chentao Jin, Yan Zhong, Jing Wang, Xiaohui Zhang, Zhoujiao Xu, Mei Tian, Lawrence W.C. Chan, Hong Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Aging is an inevitable process that all individuals experience, of which the extent differs among individuals. It has been recognized as the risk factor of neurodegenerative diseases by affecting gut microbiota compositions, microglia, and cognition abilities. Aging-induced changes in gut microbiota compositions have a critical role in orchestrating the morphology and functions of microglia through the gut-brain axis. Gut microbiota communicates with microglia by its secreted metabolites and neurotransmitters. This is highly associated with age-related cognitive declines. Here, we review the main composition of microbiota in the aged individuals, outline the changes of the brain in age-related cognitive decline from a neuroinflammation perspective, especially the changes of morphology and functions of microglia, discuss the crosstalk between microbiota and microglia in the aged brain and further highlight the role of microbiota-microglia connections in neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13599
JournalAging Cell
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • cognitive aging
  • gut microbiota
  • microglia
  • neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Cell Biology


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