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The effect of maternal supplementation with retinoic acid on immunological components of milk and mice offspring

Grant number: 17/18025-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2017
Effective date (End): October 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology
Principal researcher:Maria Notomi Sato
Grantee:José Augusto Cruz Brito
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Retinoic acid (RA) is vitamin A active metabolite and plays a key role in the maintenance of mucosal homeostasis, especially in immunological sites such as gut associated lymphoid tissues (GALT). The neonatal period is characterized by a relative immunological immaturity and an increased susceptibility to infections, a timeframe during which RA is found in low concentrations. Since the transfer of maternal factors through breastfeeding is essential to provide protection to infants against pathogens, we aim in this project to evaluate the effect of maternal supplementation with RA during the breastfeeding period, and to investigate the immunological impact on the offspring, especially in GALT. The immunological components of the milk, such as IgA and IgG antibodies, the profile of pro- and/or anti-inflammatory cytokines and the cellular composition of effector and regulatory T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes and innate lymphoid cells will be evaluated. In addition, a progeny exchange system, in which CD45.1 allele C57BL/6 offspring will be breastfeed by CD45.2 allele mice supplemented with RA, will be employed to track the migration of maternal milk cells to the offspring mesenteric lymph nodes and Peyer´s patches, and to evaluate the functional effector and/or regulatory capacity of these cells. The evaluation of RA effects on the milk of supplemented mothers will provide important insights into the benefits and/or harms of a RA-rich diet in the development of the offspring immune system, uncovering possible applications for human health. (AU)

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