PhD defence: Shaping mucosal and systemic immunity by non-digestible oligosaccharides and postbiotics Growing roots with food

PhD defence V. Ayechu Muruzabal

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The proper development of the gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) and the immune system in early life is crucial to promote the maturation of the immune system, and to support protection against infections or allergy, which are highly prevalent in infants. Human milk is considered the optimal nutrition for newborns since it is known to be protective against infections, GIT disorders as well as reducing the incidence of developing obesity, diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease later in life. However, the mechanisms by which components in human milk provide protection and support the maturation and development of the newborn, remain poorly understood.

Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOS) are abundantly present in human milk and are known to support the establishment of a balanced microbiota in the GIT of the newborn due to the ability of beneficial commensal bacteria to metabolize these HMOS. In addition, HMOS can also be absorbed and directly interact with intestinal epithelial cells and immune cells. However, the development of good alternatives is required due to the low percentage of breastfed infants and when provision of breastmilk is not possible. Interventions to improve infant milk formulas using prebiotic non-digestible oligosaccharides (NDO) or postbiotics are being considered as they showed beneficial effects in the GIT, and thereby may support the development in early life.

This thesis aims to study specific effects of HMOS, NDO and postbiotics in models of intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) and immune cells, in order to understand how bioactive components can promote the function and development of the GIT and immune system.

Start date and time
End date and time
Location
Academiegebouw, Domplein 29
PhD candidate
V. Ayechu Muruzabal
Dissertation
Shaping mucosal and systemic immunity by non-digestible oligosaccharides and postbiotics Growing roots with food
PhD supervisor(s)
prof. dr. J. Garssen
Co-supervisor(s)
dr. L.E.M. Willemsen
dr. B. Land
More information
Full text via Utrecht University Repository