Targeting selected Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels to modulate gastric function in the weaned piglet

01 January 2018 → 31 December 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
No data available
weaned piglet
Project description

Weaning is a critical event in the life of the piglet because various stressors culminate. Due to its
inability to adequately secrete acid and changes in motility, the function of the stomach is
compromised and as a result the barrier function towards pathogenic bacteria and protein
digestion is reduced. As a consequence, diarrhoea is frequently observed and farmers use massive
amounts of antibiotics. Therefore, we want to modulate the function of the stomach by targeting
TRPA1 and TRPV1 channels. These channels are present in various cell types in the stomach and
small intestine, and it was shown in rodents that stimulation of these channels enhances
secretions in the stomach and can delay emptying of gastric contents. The aim of my research is to
explore the potential to modulate gastric function in the weaned piglet by using highly available
phytochemicals that are known stimulators of these channels. First, the gene expression of TRPA1
and TRPV1 in different cell types along the gut will be investigated, and second an ex vivo model
will be used to select the best phytochemicals for optimal modulation. Next, with these
candidates, the modulatory effects of TRPA1 and TRPV1 stimulation will be examined in vivo using
a cannulated pig model. Finally, an in vivo validation will be carried out to evaluate piglet
performances and health. My research will lead to better formulations of feed for weaned piglets
and lower use of antibiotics.