Cellular modes of action of natural products
At a certain point in time in natural product isolation, the question of cellular response to these compounds arises. These effects are studied in the Institute of Food Chemistry by utilizing several types of cell culture assays.
All assays begin with the analysis of the cytotoxicity on different cell lines as well as a few primary cell types. By investigating the induction of apoptosis and necrosis or analyzing changes within the cell cycle, cytotoxic effects are studied in more detail. Results obtained from such experiments are used to assess the risk of these natural compounds for human and animal health.
Furthermore, the behavior of natural products at cellular barriers is of special interest. Besides quantifying the cellular uptake, the transfer and transport across cell culture models of the intestinal and the blood-brain barrier are frequently studied subjects. Measuring the cellular impedance ensures the integrity of cellular barriers and cellular membranes, but is also used to quantify effects on the tightness of cellular barriers in a time-resolved manner.