Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has a bimodal age distribution with peak incidence at age 24 and age 65 with worse outcomes developing in aged populations. Few studies have specifically addressed age at the time of injury as an independent biologic variable in TBIassociated secondary pathology. Within the framework of our published work, identifying age related effects of TBI on neuropathology, cognition, memory and motor function we analyzed fecal pellets collected from young and aged TBI animals to assess for age-induced effects in TBI induced dysbiosis. In this follow up, work we hypothesized increased dysbiosis after TBI in aged (80-week-old, N=10) versus young (14-week-old, N=10) mice. C57BL/6 males received a sham incision or TBI via open-head controlled cortical impact. Fresh stool pellets were collected 1-day pre-TBI, then 1, 7, and 28-days post-TBI for 16S rRNA gene sequencing and taxonomic analysis. Data revealed an age induced increase in disease associated microbial species which were exacerbated by injury. Consistent with our hypothesis, aged mice demonstrated a high number of disease associated changes to the gut microbiome pre- and post-injury. Our data suggest divergent microbiome phenotypes in injury between young and aged reflecting a previously unknown interaction between age, TBI, and the gut-brain axis implying the need for different treatment strategies.
Traumatic Brain Injury, Age, Microbiome, Dysbiosis, Trauma, Controlled Cortical Impact