Episode Summary

Warmth helps mice build stronger bones, mediated by bacteria producing certain compounds!

Microbe of the episode

Microbe of the episode: Aquaspirillum serpens

Jesse's takeaways

Bones aren't just solid, structural supports for the body's tissues. They're active and alive, housing important components of the immune system, and also capable of being broken down and built up in response to changes in the body's interactions with the environment. Various things can affect bone mass and health, including nutrition, temperature, age, and even the body's microbes.
In this study, two of these effects are found to interact. Warmth leads to increased bone density in mice, and this effect can be attributed to the microbes in the mice, and transmitted from one mouse to another just by transplanting microbes adapted to warmth. Even the particular chemicals the microbes produce that mediate this effect are discovered.


Stronger bones thanks to heat and microbiota

Journal Paper

Chevalier C, Kieser S, Çolakoğlu M, Hadadi N, Brun J, Rigo D, Suárez-Zamorano N, Spiljar M, Fabbiano S, Busse B, Ivanišević J, Macpherson A, Bonnet N, Trajkovski M. 2020. Warmth Prevents Bone Loss Through the Gut Microbiota. Cell Metab 32:575-590.e7.

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Porous interior of bone