FCG-IGC seminar hosted by SymbNET – 11 December

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11 Dec (Mo), 14h00-15h00 WET

@FCG-IGC, Ionians Auditorium


Speaker: Joana P. Bernardes, Postdoctoral researcher

Affiliation: Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology (IKMB)- Kiel University (CAU)

Title:Intestinal epithelial manifestations upon protein malnutrition – Acute and memory effects on
intestinal tract homeostasis.

Abstract: Protein energy malnutrition (PEM) adversely affects the normal growth and function of the body, with 10-15% of children who undergo a single episode of PEM never fully recovered. Complications associated with PEM include impaired immune and mucosal barrier functions, along with life-long effects such as neurological deficits and intestinal epithelium atrophy. Our study focused on the intestinal epithelium response in mice exposed to PEM. We observed systemic changes in the intestinal epithelium of mice undergoing acute PEM, characterized by a reduction in proliferative cells in the crypts, as well as a significant decrease in the number of Paneth cells. Interestingly, germ-free mice exhibited a less severe phenotype, prompting us to identify certain microbial metabolites, e.g. epoxide hydrolases which were increased during acute and recovery PEM. These fatty acid metabolites act as agonist of PPAR transcription factors that regulate lipid and amino-acid metabolism, as well, as inflammatory and cell differentiation pathways. Our work underpinned a possible molecular signature driving the long-lasting intestinal epithelium atrophy, with Paneth and proliferative cells significantly affected by a single episode of PEM. Going forward our goal is to explore the impact of PEM on additional organs, including liver, pancreas, and brain stem, in order to dissect the systemic effects of protein energy malnutrition.

Authors: Joana P. Bernardes; Archana Bhardwaj; Neha Mishra; Victor Lopez-Agudelo; Fenja A. Schuran; Florian Tran; Felix Gilbert; Felix Sommer; Philip Rosenstiel