Thematic Area 3: Interventions

TA 3: Role of the immune system and the gut microbiota in neuroprotection: a dietary human intervention trial

Human Intervention Studies

Human intervention studies are integral part of the Diet-Body-Brain cluster because they allow the detection of physiological mechanisms and the confirmation of associations observed in prospective cohort studies.

Role of the immune system and the gut microbiota in neuroprotection: a dietary human intervention trial

The goal of the human intervention study is to compare the effects of three dietary patterns (Western diet, DGE diet, Nordic diet) on potential mechanisms linking nutrition with brain health. Therefore participants (men and women) with a risk phenotype for neurodegeneration (metabolic syndrome traits and a sedentary lifestyle) will be recruited in and around Bonn. The study will be conducted using a randomized, controlled, 6-week intervention trial, in 3-arm parallel-group design. The dietary-interventions will be (i) typical Western diet, (ii) diet according to the actual recommendation of the DGE, and (iii) typical Nordic diet. Dietary intakes (dietary assessment app, see TA1) will be recorded before, in-between and at the end of the intervention.

A systematic and genome-wide DNA methylation analysis complements the studies and will determine changes in epigenetic signatures secondary to the dietary interventions.

Research questions and objectives

O3.1 to evaluate dietary effects on markers of the immune system (including transcriptional and phenotypic response of major immune cells in peripheral blood) linked to neuroprotection

O3.2 to evaluate the effects of diet-associated changes in microbiota composition on metabolic markers along the gut-brain-axis (in cooperation with JRG)

O3.3 to investigate whether the three dietary patterns lead to characteristic epigenetic changes in DNA methylation profiles (in cooperation with TA4).

Prof. Dr. Peter Stehle (coordination)
Institute of Nutrition and Food Sciences
Nutritional Physiology
Faculty of Agriculture
University of Bonn

Nussallee 9
D-53115 Bonn
Ph. +49 228 73 3680
Fax +49 228 73 3217

Prof. Dr. med. Joachim L. Schultze
Life &  Medical Sciences Institute
Genomics & Immunregulation

Carl-Troll-Str. 31
53115 Bonn

Ph.: +49 / (0)2 28 / 73 - 6 27 87 (Secretary)
Fax: +49 / (0)2 28 / 73 - 6 26 46