Identification of next generation gut health modulators for the tighter control of the host’s immune system function and the gut health
Staff: Adele Costabile & Yolanda Calle
Description: Emerging studies have highlighted the important role of the gut microbiome (GM) in supporting the function of the immune system (IS). To date, the role of GM is even more critical suggesting that timely establishment of symbiosis between the IS and the GM has significant and long-lasting impacts in the individual’s future health and disease. This understanding has fueled the development of various nutritional strategies mainly based on probiotics and or prebiotics, to shape the infant microbiota. Thus considering that the establishment and development of the gut microbiota is very complex and intricate, the effectiveness of such interventions is very challenging. The continuous cross-talk between the innate immune cells and the microbiota, demonstrates the importance of those molecules not only in the timely establishment and maintenance of homeostasis but also in appropriate immune programming for the prevention of hyper-inflammation-based conditions later in life. This breakthrough research aims to deliver a new knowledge on these molecules and the biological mechanisms involved in the cross-talk between Bifidobacterium species and the innate immune cells, in order to identify the ones that promote successful immune system maturation. Our approach is shifting the focus from the microbiota composition per se to the response of the host immune system to the existing microbiota. Results generated will help us to dramatically identify next generation gut health modulators for the tighter control of the host’s immune system function.