UROP Fellowship: Biomedical and Life Sciences
Research Mentor(s): Muhammad Aslam, MBBS, MD
Research Mentor Institution/Department: Michigan Medicine, Department of Pathology
Presentation Date: Wednesday, August 4th
Session: Session 1 (3pm-3:50pm EDT)
Breakout Room: Room 2
Background information: Aquamin is a multi-mineral product obtained by mineralized remains of red marine algae that is rich in calcium, magnesium and 72 additional minerals and trace elements. In current studies, it has been shown that Aquamin aids in gut barrier structure along with the function of colonoids (3D tissue culture) derived from colon biopsies of healthy subjects. It is critical that a colonic barrier is intact for the gastrointestinal health of individuals. Colonic barrier dysfunction has been a feature of inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Barrier dysfunction could be a result of toxic insult or inflammatory attacks on epithelial cells which line the colon, although now it is being recognized that tissue could be subject to injury or inflammation due to pre-existing weakness. If prolonged, this injury and chronic inflammation can lead to the development of colon cancer. Therefore, strengthening the colonic barrier is critical. Through experimentation, it will be determined if Aquamin can restore barrier expression in cytokine/ lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced inflammation in normal colon tissue derived colonoids.
Methods: In a recent set of experiments, human colon tissue-derived colonoids were challenged with a mixture of cytokine and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) toxins. The response of these colonoids to Aquamin was assessed by measuring differentiation and protein expression, which was determined by different approaches, one of which being proteomic screening of colonoid cultures.
Results: Cytokine stimulation was seen to cause an upregulation of proinflammatory moieties and a decrease in barrier proteins while Aquamin was seen to upregulate anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial proteins with increased expression of proteins involved in the barrier structure. However, more data analysis must be conducted before proceeding to final results and conclusions.
Authors: Dania Zeidan, Isabelle Harber, Shannon D. McClintock, Muhammad Nadeem Aslam