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Christelle Knudsen

Christelle Knudsen

session, year:
2018 1st


Receiving laboratory:
LDRI, Louvain Drug Research Institute, Bruxelles

Country of origin:


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Download Curriculum Vitae

Mobility project

Multiscale study of the modulatory effect of microbial indole on liver metabolism and inflammatory processes in mice with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

NAFLD (Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Diseases) is a clinical syndrome associated with fat accumulation in the liver. It is of growing concern in the western world, with no pharmacological or nutritional treatment available. Recent studies have demonstrated the implication of the microbiota in the development of this disorder but its impacts on liver metabolism and steatosis are however poorly understood. The liver and gastrointestinal tract are directly connected (gut-liver axis), providing the liver with nutrients and bacterial compounds such as indole. Indole is a bacterial metabolite of particular interest since it reduces the intestinal inflammation and modulates the intestinal metabolism. The objective of this project is to study the effect of indole as a modulator of liver metabolism. This project will be realized in a multiscale approach (I) at tissue level (ex vivo), (II) at in vivo level with indole supplementation and (III) at in vivo level with the stimulation of the microbial production of indole. Thus, approaches 1 and 2 will enable us to clearly evaluate the impact of indole on hepatic metabolism ex vivo and in vivo while approach 3 will enable us to evaluate the potential modulation of the endogenous production of indole and its subsequent effect on liver metabolism and digestive and liver health in vivo. These studies will open great perspectives for nutritional recommendations and pharmacological and nutritional developments for the treatment of NAFLD.

Biography & research interests

I graduated from Agrocampus Ouest in 2011 with a master degree in animal sciences, health and breeding. After a master’s research project in pig digestive health at INRA UMR Pegase I continued on with a PhD in rabbit nutrition and digestive health studying the impact of feed availability level and dietary composition upon the digestive immune system and microbial ecosystem at INRA UMR GenPhySE that I graduated from in 2014. Today I work as a junior researcher at the aforementioned laboratory and have been working on the physiological and metabolic modulations occuring during spontaneous liver steatosis in waterfowl and their interactions with the digestive microbiota. In the near futur, and after this mobility project, I will orientate my career around the interactions between the digestive microbiota and its hosts immunity and metabolism in monogastrics for a finalised aim of improving the digestive health.

Selected publications

Knudsen C, Combes S, Briens C, Coutelet G, Duperray J, Rebours G, Salaun JM, Travel A, Weissman D, Gidenne T, 2017. Substituting starch with digestible fiber does not impact on health status or growth in restricted fed rabbits. Animal Feed Science and Technology 226, 152-161.

Fernandez X, Guy G, Laverze JB, Bonnefont C, Knudsen C, Fortun-Lamothe L, 2016. A kinetic study of the natural induction of liver steatosis in Greylag Landaise geese: the role of hyperphagia. Animal 10 (8), 1288-1295.

Knudsen C, Combes S, Briens C, Duperray J, Rebours G, Salaun JM, Travel A, Weissman D, Gidenne T, Oswald IP, 2015. Quantitative feed restriction rather than caloric restriction modulates the immune response of the growing rabbit. Journal of Nutrition 145, 483-489.

Knudsen C, Combes S, Briens C, Coutelet G, Duperray J, Rebours G, Salaun JM, Travel A, Weissman D, Gidenne T, 2014. Increasing the digestible energy intake under a restriction strategy improves the feed conversion ratio of the growing rabbit without negatively impacting the health status. Livestock Science 169, 96-105.

Le Floc'h N, Knudsen C, Gidenne T, Montagne L, Merlot E, Zemb O, 2014. Impact of feed restriction on health, digestion and faecal microbiota of growing pigs housed in good or poor hygiene conditions. Animal 8, 16321642.

Talks in annual meetings

Microbial Indole: a potential Modulator of Hepatic metabolism?
2018 / P1 Molecular and Cellular,P2 Tissue and Individual / by Christelle Knudsen / Fellows Speed Presentation


Microbiota, metabolite, indole, liver steatosis, NAFLD, inflammation, metabolism