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Alternative models in nutrigenomics

New Content ItemEdited by Prof Dr Uwe Wenzel and Dr Fabio Virgili

Genes and Nutrition is proud to present our newest thematic series, on alternative models in nutrigenomics. Animal models, and in particular rodent species, have been essential in medical research due to practical and ethical concerns associated with human experimentation.  Results from animal studies guide translation of in vitro results to in vivo conditions and eventually to humans. 

Millions of animals are used every year worldwide to foster basic research. In spite of well-defined protocols aiming to minimize pain, distress, and death by the animals, animal research nevertheless raises ethical concerns. Additional concerns are the requirement for trained and skilled personnel, time consuming protocols, and high costs. These practical issues increases the obvious uncertainties of translating animal data and results to humans.

The foundation of much nutritional sciences was obtained from rats, mice, and rabbits as experimental models, while the utilization of different species such as cats, dogs, pigs and primates, is relatively limited to specific fields of research.

This collection of articles, authored by researchers having a strong, long term experience on the matter, is dedicated to alternative experimental models that may eventually contribute to solving, at least in part, these critical issues. In particular, C. elegans, D. melanogaster, and the “zebra fish” (the cyprinide Danio rerio) are discussed as suitable expedient models in nutrigenomic research.

We hope that this collection of articles can provide some “food for thought” to our readers, to provide a critical overview on studies based on non-rodent models, and stimulate their “intent” to relieve, when possible, the use of rodent in research studies.  

This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer-review process. The Guest Editors declare no competing interests.

View all collections published in Genes and Nutrition.

  1. This review investigates the current state of nutrigenomics in the zebrafish animal models. The zebrafish animal model has been used extensively in the study of disease onset and progression and associated mol...

    Authors: Michael B. Williams and Stephen A. Watts
    Citation: Genes & Nutrition 2019 14:34
  2. Peptide transporter 1 (PepT1, alias Slc15a1) mediates the uptake of dietary di/tripeptides in all vertebrates. However, in teleost fish, more than one PepT1-type transporter might function, due to specific whole ...

    Authors: Francesca Vacca, Amilcare Barca, Ana S. Gomes, Aurora Mazzei, Barbara Piccinni, Raffaella Cinquetti, Gianmarco Del Vecchio, Alessandro Romano, Ivar Rønnestad, Elena Bossi and Tiziano Verri
    Citation: Genes & Nutrition 2019 14:33

    The Correction to this article has been published in Genes & Nutrition 2020 15:3

  3. Animals require sufficient intake of a variety of nutrients to support their development, somatic maintenance and reproduction. An adequate diet provides cell building blocks, chemical energy to drive cellular...

    Authors: Aleksandra Zečić, Ineke Dhondt and Bart P. Braeckman
    Citation: Genes & Nutrition 2019 14:15
  4. Aging is a complex phenomenon caused by the time-dependent loss of cellular homeodynamics and consequently of physiological organismal functions. This process is affected by both genetic and environmental (e.g...

    Authors: Zoi Evangelakou, Maria Manola, Sentiljana Gumeni and Ioannis P. Trougakos
    Citation: Genes & Nutrition 2019 14:12
  5. The suitability of C. elegans as a model for the question of nutritional science is a controversial topic. The discussion makes clear that C. elegans is its own best model for revealing, via genetic approaches, b...

    Authors: Dieter-Christian Gottschling and Frank Döring
    Citation: Genes & Nutrition 2019 14:1