Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Katherine Gil defended her Doctoral Thesis. Congratulations!!

The event took place the 22nd of February

Katherine Gil defended her doctoral thesis entitled "Grape seed proanthocyanidins as modulators of the inflammatory response and barrier function in the


Intestinal dysfunction is based on a pro-inflammatory state in the intestine and on a defective barrier function, both considered common features of intestinal chronic diseases. However, intestinal dysfunction has also been associated with obesity and other metabolic diet-related pathologies. In this regard, proanthocyanidins are natural bioactive compounds from the flavonoid family with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that might have significant effects on the intestinal environment. In this framework, the present thesis was designed to elucidate the role of proanthocyanidins in the modulation of the intestinal inflammatory response and barrier function in complementary animal models of intestinal dysfunction.
To accomplish this global objective, firstly we examined the impact of an obesogenic diet on intestinal health status over time to then analyse the protective effect of a grape seed proanthocyanidin extract and compare the effectiveness of different doses and times of administration to protect against intestinal dysfunction. Secondly, the role of the same extract of proanthocyanidins was analysed in an animal model of acute intestinal inflammation and impaired intestinal permeability induced by lipopolysaccharides injection.
To sum up, the present thesis revealed that diet induced obesity and acute
lipopolysaccharides exposition trigger similar degree of intestinal inflammation and impaired barrier function state, and more importantly, that the oral administration of proanthocyanidins improves intestinal inflammation and barrier function.


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