A comprehensive study of the innate immune surveillance against infection during postprandial metabolism

Postprandial inflammation describes a systemic state of activation of immune cells following ingestion of macronutrients from food. Activation of immune cells generally leads to inflammation, that is important to clear microbial infection but also contributes to several human diseases. In the context of nutrition, inflammatory responses are, for example, important drivers of cardiovascular disease and obesity-associated diabetes.

In general, overnutrition is associated with an increased risk for several infectious diseases. Moreover, we are increasingly seeing dysregulated postprandial responses in Western populations due to lack of fasting periods due to continuous food intake, which is thought to contribute to infectious disease risk.

In this project, we will unravel the underlying mechanisms that lead to the induction of postprandial inflammation, the receptors involved in this process and the molecular details of immune cell activation in the context of infection defence. To this end, we will assay serum and immune cells from human individuals from different retrospective and prospective cohorts at postprandial conditions and from septic patients. In vitro stimulation and challenge of purified immune cells with human pathogens followed by muti-omics analysis also will identify the molecular mechanisms of postprandial inflammation and its contribution to the risk of infectious diseases and its link to obesity in humans. Data will be validated in preclinical in vivo models to establish causality.

Expertise and access to cutting-edge technology to perform the project is assured by an international collaboration of four renowned labs in the fields of nutrition and immunology at the Sorbonne University in Paris and the University of Lille in France, the University of Murcia in Spain, and the University of Hohenheim in Germany.


Partner Organization Partner Country
University of Hohenheim Germany
University of Murcia Spain
University of Lille France


This project is intended to identify novel biomarkers for nutrition-related disease and infection resistance and drive to design new therapeutic interventions and prevention methods, as well as nutritional recommendations for cardiovascular and infectious diseases.


Project number:
Duration: 40%
Duration: 40 %
Related funding round:
Project lead and secretary:
Philippe Lesnik
Responsible organisation:
Sorbonne University, France