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Funded Projects

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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2013 13F516 UCD, UCC €493,064

Project Title:

The anti-inflammatory and microbial modulating effects of marine derived laminarin and omega-3 fatty acids on inflammatory bowel disease in an experimental porcine model.

Project Coordinator:

Prof Torres Sweeney

Project Abstract

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) refers to a debilitating set of conditions in humans including Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn’s Disease. The incidence of IBD is rapidly increasing in both adults and children. The identification of natural bioactives which can alleviate the recurrence of these debilitating conditions is of great importance. Recent research has identified that marine-derived laminarin and omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3) have diverse anti-inflammatory and microbial-modulating properties in-vitro and in-vivo. Our hypothesis is that a combination of laminarin and omega-3 fatty acids will remediate colitis-type inflammation via divergent mechanisms, including modification of the enteric microbiota and suppression of the dis-regulated colonic inflammatory transcriptome. A porcine model of IBD will be used. Two experiments will be conducted whereby the bioactives will be given: 1) directly in the diet to a mature pig, or 2) via the maternal route during gestation/suckling. Following exposure to the bioactives for a period of time, colitis will be induced using dextran sulphate. Serological markers of epithelial permeability, colonic histopathology and immune cell infiltrate profiles shall be assessed. Treatments which provide a significant improvement in severity of colitis will be selected for detailed transcriptome analysis and microbiome profiling. This collaboration will bring together disciplines encompassing histopathology, immunology, genomics, and microbiology to develop a bioactive that will reduce the recurrence of IBD, and will establish links with medics treating IBD on a daily basis.

Final Report:

Not available yet.