Maternal immune activation during pregnancy – a dietary intervention to restore immune fitness in the offspring

The first 1000 days of life are the most critical period of development. Environmental exposures during pregnancy, such as infection, may disrupt immune fitness in the offspring. Maternal infection is associated with an increased risk for immune disorders in children. We use the poly(I:C) model -which mimics a viral infection during pregnancy- to study long-term effects of maternal immune activation. Human and animal studies have shown that dietary intervention with non-digestible oligosaccharides in early life positively influences the development of the immune system, including decreased allergic responses. We therefore hypothesize that supplementing offspring affected by maternal infection with oligosaccharides protects against the effects of maternal infection on immune fitness. Results from animal studies will be confirmed in human samples (Lifelines NEXT Study) enabling us to identify subjects at risk, which could potentially benefit from adapted nutritional strategies.

  • Projectnummer / Project number: 16518
  • Deelnemende kennisinstellingen / Participating institutes: Universiteit Utrecht
  • Projectleider / Project leader: dr. L. Groenink – Universiteit Utrecht - Faculteit Bètawetenschappen - Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS)
  • Type project / Type project: Lopend
  • Startdatum / Start date: 1-06-2018
  • Einddatum / End date: 1-06-2022
  • Programma / Programme: Partnership NWO-domein TTW-Danone Nutricia Research
  • Vakgebied / Discipline: Geneeskunde


Mw. dr. T. (Tamara) van Mölken (Senior programmamedewerker) Mw. dr. T. (Tamara) van Mölken (Senior programmamedewerker) +31 (0)30 600 1323