Skip directly to content

Kelly Aldridge

The Role of Vitamin E in asthma pathogensis

Project Description: My research aims to understand and explore the inhibitory effects of vitamin E isotypes (delta- tocotrienol, alpha- tocopherol, and others) on the infectivity of Chlamydial strains. Previous studies suggest that tocotrienols have an inhibitory effect on the chlamydial entry and infectivity. We hypothesize that the tocotrienols will have an inhibitory effect on C. pneumoniae infection of airway epithelial and other cell types involved in airway hyperreactivity. Our lab has previously shown that C. pneumoniae infections can initiate and exacerbate asthmatic reactions in the lungs of children and adults, who are unresponsive to typical steroid treatment. With this study we hope explore the inhibitory effects of the tocotrienols on C. pneumoniae infectivity.  In addition I am also investigating the effects of tocotrienol treatment on the proinflammatory arachidonic acid pathway. We will be looking for changes in the expression of certain inflammatory pathway genes following treatment with vitamin E in order to determine if there would be any therapeutic benefits of vitamin E treatment for severe, steroid unresponsive asthmatics.