Todd J. Applegate -
Poultry Nutritional Physiology Laboratory
Bertrand Grenier, Ph.D.
Dr. Grenier obtained his Ph.D. degree from the department of food toxicology of INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique), Toulouse, France. He received a private funding from the company BIOMIN (located in Austria) to conduct his research in France. This company is specialized in the development of animal nutrition products, especially solutions for mycotoxin (toxic metabolites produced by fungi) risk management. His PhD project was then focused on one hand to the effects of mycotoxins on the immune and intestinal responses of pigs, and on the other hand to the efficiency of biotransformation approaches for reducing their toxicity. Given the interest of BIOMIN to further investigate these topics, he came to Purdue University in January 2012 to pursue a postdoctoral research, supported by the company, in the department of animal sciences. Currently, he is evaluating the effect of Fusarium mycotoxins on the intestinal immune response of broiler chickens. Although relatively tolerant to fusariotoxins in terms of performance, chickens are commonly fed with contaminated feed and the intestinal epithelium is prone to the toxic actions of these toxins. So far, few data are available on the effect of these metabolites in the gastrointestinal tract of livestock, especially chickens, and this issue must be addressed (see review Grenier & Applegate 2012, Toxins). To this end, immune approaches are used by determining the phagocytic capability of intestinal phagocytes upon mycotoxin exposure, the cytokine response (pro-inflammatory cytokines, Th1/Th17/Th2/Treg cytokines, and suppressors of cytokine signaling) of local and specific intestinal tissues, as well as the effect on intestinal nutrient transporters (SGLT1, GLUT, NaPiIIb). Complementary to this work, he is evaluating the stability of mycotoxin-degrading enzyme within the intestinal tract of chicken, to provide new insight on the dynamic and the activity of this biotransformation process. Additionally, he has been involved in studies that look at the efficiency of probiotics upon Salmonella challenge.