Brown Bag: How human body senses the chemical environment?

The Brown Bag seminar held on the 22nd of April focused on how our bodies react with chemical environment. Most of the chemical compounds, our body react with, have been around long enough for evolution to create multiple ways of dealing with those chemicals. These mechanisms were introduced to us by Janne Hukkanen and Jukka Hakkola.

Janne Hukkanen focuses on PXR agonists in environmental toxicants. PXR is a nuclear receptor whose primary function is to sense the presence of foreign toxic substances. Hukkanen explained these mechanisms in detail and showed what exactly happens when an external toxic substance enters the body.

Jukka Hakkola introduced the edcmet project, which focuses on endocrine disruptors, the chemicals that disrupt hormone mechanisms. This project explores the phenomena in animal and cell tests. The tests are conducted with mice, who are on a high fat diet in order to mimic the composition of a human in western countries.

According to their findings, PXR agonists impair glucose tolerance, and PXR activation Induces liver steatosis and dyslipidaemia.

The discussion after the session was lively. The next Brown Bag seminar will be held on the 29th of April and the theme will be Energy in transition.

Last updated: 22.4.2020