The Laboratory of Molecular Nutrition

Asst. Prof. Esther Meyron Holtz

from left to right: Ferritin localization (green) of murine intestinal biopsy, Ferritin-iron cores are present in exosomes, visualized by cryo-TEM, ferritin (green) and the Golgi marker GM-130 (red) in murine macrophages

Mechanisms and regulation of the dynamics of tissue iron distribution in health and disease: how their manipulation may lead to treatment

In our Laboratory of Molecular Nutrition we focus on mammalian iron homeostasis. Iron is an essential nutrient, participating in many and various cellular processes.

Studying how tissue iron distribution is regulated, how this regulation is impaired in disease, and how this impaired iron homeostasis affects the disease-course are questions that take us to many different tissues in the body and to the understanding how the balance of a nutrient level can participate in the control of health and disease.

We integrate modern and classic molecular and biochemical tools to answer our questions.

An exiting example comes from our research on a murine inflammatory bowel disease model, where we revealed a viscous circle of exacerbation of the inflammation by the impaired iron distribution and we were able to successfully interfere, and resolve the inflammation.

To better understand the mechanisms of intestinal inflammation mediated by a range of agents including iron, food additives or food processing, we are establishing a Host-Microbiome (HOME)-platform which will serve as a powerful tool to analyze the different compartments of the gut and their contribution to inflammation.