ArylMUNE:The Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR)
The Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) is a transcription factor that is crucial for the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis. However, activators from the gut lumen and functional consequences of activation are unknown. Activators originate from 1) the diet, such as indole-3-carbinol from cruciferous vegetables, 2) endogenous microbiota, 3) specific lactic acid bacteria, used in food or as probiotics, that produce AhR agonist from tryptophan catabolism. The overall aim of this project is to assess the effects of AhR activation by microbiota-derived components on intestinal immunity and physiology. Specifically, this project focusses on determining the diet-microbiota interactions that lead to AhR activation and identify AhR-activating microorganisms, or their metabolites, with potential health benefits. We expect to gain a better understanding of the host-microbiota crosstalk in health and disease and identify new dietary strategies to modulate AhR signalling to maintain gut health and alleviate intestinal inflammation.