Honors Theses


Yvonne Sun



Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


The main goal of this research is to see how propionate, a common food preservative and an important metabolite in humans, alters the activation of our immune system. The effects of propionate on macrophage activation will be determined by using nitrite and LDH assays. For these assays, different concentrations of propionate will be tested to determine how macrophages respond to the activation by LPS and interferon gamma. Another goal of this project is to determine the effects of propionate and macrophage activation on intracellular survival of L. monocytogenes. A gentamicin protection assay will be used to better establish the role of multiple variables related to L. monocytogenes infection. These variables include the length and level of propionate exposure prior to infection, macrophage activation state, and nitric oxide production. From these experiments we investigated if over stimulation of anti-inflammatory SCFAs could lead to an increase of susceptibility to L. monocytogenes infections. Results from these proposed experiments will ultimately help us better understand how propionate affects host-pathogen interactions.

Permission Statement

This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes.


Undergraduate research



Included in

Biology Commons