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Impact of chronic inflammation on bowel and sexual function


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) is difficult to treat and secondary pathological outcome can include decreased fertility. Also, many of the available treatments cause unwanted severe immune side effects that limit their therapeutic benefit. Therefore, the development of innovative therapies that target inflammation in the bowel is warranted and may have secondary benefial impacts on fertility in males and females.


Dr Paul Witting.

Research location

Camperdown - Charles Perkins Centre

Program type



Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD; Crohn's disease; ulcerative colitis) are a group of inflammatory disorders of gastrointestinal tract with unknown etiology. Australian IBD patients tend to retire early and A$3.1 billion productive loss has been attributed to IBD with an estimate of ~ 100,000 new cases to be reported by 2022. IBD is also a threat to patient's fertility potential and in Australia, voluntary childlessness is high in IBD patients with the fear of its heritability and possible medicinal effects on the child. IBD impacts the fertility status of either genders directly (disease itself) by oxidative stress or indirectly (immunosuppressive treatment; surgical/non-surgical). Establishing an innovative, non-immunological therapy will alleviate the inflammatory course of IBD and thus minimize our dependency on immunosuppressant drugs, that exhibit severe and noxious side-effects. In this context we propose to investigate whether nitroxides as a novel class of potent anti-inflammatory/antioxidant agents ameliorate IBD in a severe combined immune-deficient mouse (SCID) model that closely recapitulates human IBD.

Additional information

Project involves use of:
• Histological and immune-histochemcial techniques linked to innovative imaging technology (OPAL and Hyperion Mass Cytometry)
• Assessments of biomarkers of inflammation using mass spectrometry
• Current animal ethics is granted and the project is currently running in the Redox Biology lab.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2505

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