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Gut microbiota and experimental allergic asthma in C57BL/6 and A/J mice: genetic and fiber intake influence

Grant number: 14/03879-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2014
Effective date (End): May 25, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Principal Investigator:Caroline Marcantonio Ferreira
Grantee:Vitória Boteon Terra
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:12/50410-8 - Effects of short-chain fatty acids produced by probiotic bacteria in the prophylaxis and treatment of allergic airway inflammation, AP.JP


The gut microbiota contributes considerably in the homeostasis of the human organism, and it is necessary for proper development of innate and adaptive immune responses. Changes in composition are associated with gastrointestinal disorders and, recently, also with the inflammation outside the intestine, such as asthma. Asthma is a complex chronic airway disease caused by the interaction between environmental and genetic factors that affect about 235 million people worldwide. Urbanization and the adoption of modern lifestyles, which include little exposure to microbes, antibiotics and nutritional patterns with frequent consumption of "fast foods" and foods high in fat and sugar combined with reduced intake of fruits, vegetables and fiber, are associated with asthma disease. All these environmental factors, along with the host genetic interfere with the gut microbiota, which metabolic products, including the SCFA are essential for modulating the immune response. Preliminary data from our group showed that the increased systemic acetate (a short chain fatty acid, the final metabolite of fiber fermentation by certain bacteria) have anti-inflammatory role in allergic asthma induced in experimental mice. Thus, this study aims to: (I) verify that the habitual consumption of a diet rich in fiber contributes for the prevention and treatment of experimental asthma in two strains of mice, which respond differently to asthma (C57BL/6, hyporesponsive, and A/J, hyperresponsive). (II) Determine the genetic influence on the composition of the intestinal microbiota. (III) To investigate the genetic relevance of the effects of consumption of a diet rich in fiber, in the allergic airway response.

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