Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Oferta de Beca Predoctoral amb MoBioFood!!!

Línea de investigación: Different sources of diet protein and gut homeostasis: immune response and autophagy Fecha límite: 15/11/20 Fecha incorporación: 01/02/21 Mas información en el siguiente link:


The idea of the project and where it sits within the state-of-the-art The intestinal mucosa is a site for multiple stressors and the barrier between the internal and external environment. In the intestine, there is a complex interplay between the microbiota, epithelial barrier and the local immune system to maintain homeostasis and to promote a healthy gut. One of the main systems to maintain gut homeostasis is gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) that is distributed along the intestinal tract. Moreover, one of the major cellular processes that regulates this homeostasis is autophagy, the catabolic process of delivering cytoplasmic constituents, organelles and infectious agents to the lysosome for degradation. Autophagy is required to maintain anti-microbial defence, epithelial barrier integrity and mucosal immune response. Dysregulation of the autophagy process causes disruption of several aspects of the intestinal epithelium and the immune system that can lead to an inappropriate immune response and subsequent inflammation. Furthemore, it has been described that dietary compounds can modulate gut homeostasis and consuming the recommended quantity of good-quality protein is essential for optimal human growth, development, and health. Insects have been described as an abundant source of high-quality protein and essential amino acids, its nutritional value has been extensively documented and this protein source is considered an alternative to traditional animal protein derived from livestock (1). However, there is a lack of information about their bioactive properties. In this sense, previous own results have demonstrated that different protein sources modulate enterohormone release and food intake, in both ex vivo and in vivo human, pig and rat models. However, its possible role as modulators of intestinal autophagy and inflammatory mechanisms have rarely been the focus of study. 2.The objectives of the project, as well as the progress beyond the state-of-the-art. We hypothesize that protein sources, through their interaction with the gastrointestinal tract, can modulate immune response and autophagy having an important role the mantenance ofgut homeostasis. Therefore, the main goal of this proposal is to test three different in-vitro-digested protein sources insect (Alphitobius diaperinus), beef (Bos primigenius taurus), and almond (Prunus dulcis) and to describe its possible role over the gut homeostasis maintenance. Therefore, we aim to compare animal proteins from crickets and ruminant meat and of plant origin interact with the gastrointestinal tract and if they can modulate autophagy and inflammatory mechanisms ex vivo and in vivo in human, pig and rat models. We plan to analyse immune cell activation and immune mediators, molecular mechanisms as well as modulatory effects local and systemic. The results that we will obtain could lead to the development of new strategies in prevention and/or treatment of intestinal diseases. 1. Birgit A.Rumpold Oliver K.Schlüter.Potential and challenges of insects as an innovative source for food and feed productionInnovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies. 17(2013):1-11.


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