Compromised barrier function of colon epithelium with aging is largely due to gut microbial dysbiosis. Recent studies implicate an important role for angiotensin converting enzymes, ACE and ACE2, angiotensins, and the receptors, AT1 receptor (AT1R) and Mas receptor (MasR), in the regulation of colon functions. The present study tested the hypothesis that leaky gut in aging is associated with an imbalance in ACE2/ACE and that the treatment with angiotenisn-(1–7) (Ang-(1–7)) will restore gut barrier integrity and microbiome. Studies were carried out in Young (3–4 months) and old (20–24 months) male mice. Ang-(1–7) was administered by using osmotic pumps. Outcome measures included expressions of ACE, ACE2, AT1R, and MasR, intestinal permeability by using FITC-dextran, and immunohistochemistry of claudin 1 and occludin, and intestinal stem cells (ISCs). ACE2 protein and activity were decreased in Old group while that of ACE were unchanged. Increased intestinal permeability and plasma levels of zonulin-1 in the Old group were normalized by Ang-(1–7). Epithelial disintegrity, reduced number of goblet cells and ISCs in the old group were restored by Ang-(1–7). Expression of claudin 1 and occludin in the aging colon was increased by Ang-(1–7). Infiltration of CD11b+ or F4/80+ inflammatory cells in the old colons were decreased by Ang-(1–7). Gut microbial dysbiosis in aging was evident by decreased richness and altered beta diversity that were reversed by Ang-(1–7) with increased abundance of Lactobacillus or Lachnospiraceae. The present study shows that Ang-(1–7) restores gut barrier integrity and reduces inflammation in the aging colon by restoring the layer of ISCs and by restructuring the gut microbiome.

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