Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

Gut Microbiome Diversity and Abundance Correlate with Gray Matter Volume (GMV) in Older Adults with Depression.


Growing evidence supports the concept that bidirectional brain-gut microbiome interactions play an important mechanistic role in aging, as well as in various neuropsychiatric conditions including depression. Gray matter volume (GMV) deficits in limbic regions are widely observed in geriatric depression (GD). We therefore aimed to explore correlations between gut microbial measures and GMV within these regions in GD. Sixteen older adults (>60 years) with GD (37.5% female; mean age, 70.6 (SD = 5.7) years) were included in the study and underwent high-resolution T1-weighted structural MRI scanning and stool sample collection. GMV was extracted from bilateral regions of interest (ROI: hippocampus, amygdala, nucleus accumbens) and a control region (pericalcarine). Fecal microbiota composition and diversity were assessed by 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing. There were significant positive associations between alpha diversity measures and GMV in both hippocampus and nucleus accumbens. Additionally, significant positive associations were present between hippocampal GMV and the abundance of genera Family_XIII_AD3011_group, unclassified Ruminococcaceae, and Oscillibacter, as well as between amygdala GMV and the genera Lachnospiraceae_NK4A136_group and Oscillibacter. Gut microbiome may reflect brain health in geriatric depression. Future studies with larger samples and the experimental manipulation of gut microbiome may clarify the relationship between microbiome measures and neuroplasticity.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View