Resveratrol & fetal growth
This research project will explore the use of resveratrol for improving fetal growth in complicated pregnancies.
Impaired fetal growth during pregnancy impacts subsequent health for babies and children, but few interventions can improve fetal growth.
Our recent studies suggest that resveratrol, a natural anti-inflammatory compound in red grapes, is a potential agent for improving fetal growth in pregnancy.
In this study, we will investigate how resveratrol promotes the function of the anti-inflammatory immune cell, known as the regulatory T cell (Treg). Treg cells are a leukocyte subset crucial for placental function and pregnancy success, and these cells are deficient in many pregnant women.
We hypothesise that resveratrol promotes Treg cell expansion and function to suppress inflammation and improve fetal growth. This study will use a mouse model of fetal growth restriction that will be fed resveratrol during pregnancy.
We will study how the resveratrol-supplemented diet affects maternal immune cells using flow cytometry, and whether fetal and placental development are improved using immunohistochemistry.
The results will facilitate development of resveratrol as a novel treatment in common obstetric conditions.
Co-supervisor: Professor Sarah Robertson
Research area: Immunology Research Group, School of Medicine
Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Molecular and Biomedical Science