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Prospection of metabolites with anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetes and antisteatosis activity in extracts of Brazilian freshwater microalgae

Grant number: 22/06191-1
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2022
Effective date (End): March 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Applied Botany
Principal researcher:Ana Teresa Lombardi
Grantee:Lucas Santos Solidade
Supervisor abroad: Ralph Urbatzka
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR), Portugal  
Associated to the scholarship:20/12508-2 - Prospection and physiology of Brazilian microalgae: biochemical potential, biological activity and metabolomic analysis, BP.DD


Obesity has become one of the biggest public health problems of the 21st century. With the increase in the number of people with this disease, about 80% since 1980, the costs of public health systems are increasing. It is estimated that R$ 3 billion (Brazilian currency) are spent annually on obesity care and related comorbidities (diabetes, chronic inflammation, and hepatic steatosis) in Brazil. Drug therapy plays an important role in related treatments. Thus, the search for molecules with fewer side effects is important in combating obesity and its comorbidities. This work aims at identifying new molecules with biological activities against metabolic diseases, such as antiobesity, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, and antisteatosis activity that may be present in microalgae. As methodology, the extracts will be tested using two models, fish embryos (zebrafish) and cell culture of liver cancer and macrophages. In zebrafish trials, neutral lipid reduction (antiobesity) and glucose absorption (antidiabetes) activities will be tested. The tests of antisesteatosis, cytotoxicity, and anti-inflammatory activity will be conducted with cell cultures. The promising extracts will have their metabolic composition analyzed by mass spectrometry. After that and using computational tools, such as those in the GNPS website, the possible molecules that may be related to the biological activity will be determined. It is expected at by the end of BEPE microalgae that present promising biological activities for the tested trials and through metabolic analysis techniques will be identified, as well as the identification of metabolites as possible candidates for drugs or microalgae with applications of commercial interest. (AU)

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