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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

PI: Lucy Vulchanova

Integrated Analysis of Host-Pathogen Interactions in the Gastrointestinal Tract

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract represents a complex interacting network of immunological, microbiological, and neurobiological processes. Deciphering the interconnectedness between these systems is crucial to understanding GI defense function in health and disease. This project tests the hypothesis that host-pathogen interactions are defined by the interface of epithelial, immune, and neural components of the GI mucosa. The hypothesis will be addressed in an experimental in vitro transwell model of the intestinal mucosa, based on co-culture of intestinal epithelial cells with enteric neurons and/or immune cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells. The researchers use proteomic and transcriptomic analysis integrated into models of signaling pathways to determine whether the co-culture conditions affect protein expression in the different cell types. They examine interactions of pathogens with the epithelial cells under different co-culture conditions to understand how communication between the different components of the GI mucosa modulates the host response to pathogens.

Group Member

Patrick Braun, Research Associate