Study of the effects of seaweed extracts on mouse gut transit time, gut morphology, and relevant markers

Author: Manav Subbanna

  • Thesis download: available for open access on 11 Jul 2028.

Subbanna, Manav, 2023 Study of the effects of seaweed extracts on mouse gut transit time, gut morphology, and relevant markers, Flinders University, College of Medicine and Public Health

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This research project was a study of the seaweed extracts provided by an industry partner. Seaweed extracts have many beneficial properties such as anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer and studies in mice have shown the beneficial effects of seaweed on the gastrointestinal tract. The project hypothesised that the seaweed extracts would reduce gut transit time through a change in the gut morphology and show lower inflammatory and greater antiviral marker expression, which could affect enteric viral retention in mice. The aims were to observe gut transit time using oral gavage with a dye, collect GI tissues through dissection for study and perform PCRs to assess selected marker levels. The gut transit time appeared to reduce for some mice given the seaweed extracts to 50 minutes, however, the reduction was not statistically significant and was not consistent between groups and experiments. U. treated mice produced more faecal pellets, but this did not directly coincide with changes in the gut transit time. The GI tissues were healthy showing no inflammation or foreign bodies but slightly damaged from handling while being processed. The inflammatory marker TNF– α was not present in the GI tissues, CXCL-10 and Tph 1 marker PCRs were inconclusive. The antiviral marker Viperin appeared to be at a higher level in the control, indicating that F. extract does not have a greater antiviral capacity. Overall, the seaweed extracts have the potential to reduce transit time and affect the period of infectivity during an enteric viral infection, however, the anti-inflammatory activity could not be quantified, and the anti-viral activity of the extracts may not affect the enteric viruses. Future mice testing could use larger test groups, more fixed transit time checks, positive and negative controls for tissue inflammation and greater diversity in inflammatory and antiviral marker testing.

Keywords: biotechnology, biotech, seaweed extracts, inflammation, mice, murine, nutraceutical, bioproduct, gut biology, transit time, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, viral, enteric virus, seaweed.

Subject: Biotechnology thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2023
School: College of Medicine and Public Health
Supervisor: Professor Jill Carr