We aim to understand the nutrition-related mechanisms of cellular processes at the molecular level and associated to lifestyle-related chronic illnesses.
We are particularly interested in the study of polyphenol metabolism in humans and animal models by metabolomics approaches, i.e., bioaccessibility, bioavailability, brain permeability and cellular metabolism, as well as polyphenol metabolites bioactivity towards neurodegenerative diseases, focusing on Parkinson’s disease, neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation and in blood- brain barrier dysfunction.
We perform mechanistic studies using yeast, state of art cellular and animal models of disease, and molecular approaches to unravel the molecular mechanisms of cytoprotection mediated by polyphenol-derived metabolites.
A big concern of our society is to efficiently delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, which are progressively rising in incidence. The paradigm that a diet rich in phenolics is beneficial to brain health has reached the public. However, their mechanistic actions in brain functions remain to be seen, particularly since the nature of those acting in the brain remains overlooked. LIMBO’s project addresses this gap by identifying candidate compounds that can support the development of effective strategies to delay neurodegeneration. We have been analyzing the potential of dietary phenolics in both the prevention and treatment of neuroinflammation. We are focused on the low molecular weight polyphenol metabolites (LMWPM) derived from dietary phenolics and study their brain permeability and effects in both established and unknown response pathways of microglia cells either alone or when communicating with other brain cells.
The project’s 3 main objectives are:
• To identify LMWPMs in the brain and screen their capability to attenuate microglia-mediated neuroinflammation
• To elucidate the molecular mechanisms mediating the effects of LMWPM in brain cells undergoing inflammation
• To attain an integrated perception of dietary phenolics effects in mice models of neuroinflammation and Parkinson’s disease.
We aim to use specific LMWPM to study new routes of their metabolism inside the brain and push our knowledge on the neuroactive molecular mechanisms of the novel end-route metabolites. LIMBo will provide valuable scientific insights for the future implementation of healthy brain diets and the potential use of phenolic metabolites as prodrugs.
ERC-2018-Starting grant (N° 804229) PI- Cláudia N Santos
Researchers from the Molecular Nutrition and Health group presented several of their works at the Food Bioactives & Health Conference (FBHC).
To observe the Brain Awareness Week, NMS organized two neuroscience fairs in two schools in Lisbon and one "pop-up" science center at Museu da Saúde, between March 13th and 17th.
NOVA Medical SchoolCampo Mártires da Pátria, 1301169-056 LisboaPORTUGAL
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