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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Research Project #436103

Research Project: Nutrition, Immune and Inflammatory Responses, and Related Diseases

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Project Number: 8050-51000-100-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 14, 2019
End Date: May 13, 2024

Objective:
Objective 1: Determine the effect of nutritional intervention such as vitamin E on immune and inflammatory responses and resistance to infection using appropriate human and animal models. Sub-objective 1A: Establish the effects of vitamin E supplementation on the incidence and severity of human rhinovirus infection in healthy community dwelling older adults. Sub-objective 1B: Understand the mechanistic basis for vitamin E-mediated changes in incidence and severity of common cold. Objective 2: Determine the life-long effect and underlying mechanisms of food components such as fruits and vegetables on life and health span through longitudinal intervention trials using appropriate animal models. Sub-objective 2A: Determine the effect of long term fruit and vegetable consumption on key biological functions, pathologies, and median life span in lean and obese mice. Sub-objective 2B: Determine the underlying mechanism of fruit and vegetable impact on life- and health-span in normal weight and obese mice.

Approach:
Aging is associated with dysregulation of immune and inflammatory responses, which contribute to higher morbidity and mortality from several infectious and non-infectious chronic diseases associated with aging. Nutritional status, through maintaining healthy metabolic activity, and immune and inflammatory responses, is a key factor in enhancing health- and life-span. Our long-term goal is to determine the underlying mechanisms of age-related immune and inflammatory dysregulation in order to develop nutritional interventions to prevent/reduce these alterations. Objective 1 will determine the impact and underlying mechanisms of vitamin E on human rhinovirus (HRV)-induced infection (common cold) utilizing a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in healthy community-dwelling older adults. Efficacy of vitamin E will be assessed following exposure to HRV by disease incidence and severity, viral shedding, anti-viral immune response, oxidative stress, and expression of signature genes. Objective 2 will determine effect of long-term consumption of fruits and vegetables on median life-span and key immune and metabolic functions at different life stages in an animal model (normal weight and obese mice). Both longitudinal and cross-sectional design will be used to gain insight into causaul relationship between increasing fruits and vegetable consumption and promotion of health- and life-span. Mechanistic investigation will focus on inflammation, oxidative stress, sphingolipid (particularly ceramide) metabolism, and gut microbiota. The results generated from these studies will help develop effective nutritional strategies to delay/mitigate age-related diseases leading to increased health- and life-span.