Division of Gastroenterology

Elena Verdú

MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine

Member, Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute

Administrative Assistant
905.523.6048

Research Interests

Main Research Areas
I am interested in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory disorders such as celiac disease. I am also investigating host-bacterial interactions in particular in the context of probiotics and functional gastrointestinal diseases.

Specific Focus
My main project employs HLA-DQ8 transgenic mice lacking endogenous mouse class II gene expression. I have found that HLA-DQ8 mice develop gliadin sensitivity and altered neuromuscular and epithelial gut function, in the absence of severe mucosal injury. This mechanism may underlie the generation of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-like symptoms in patients with gliadin sensitivity, and explain why symptomatically, celiac disease can mimic IBS. The results also suggest that genetic predisposition and gliadin exposure are insufficient to trigger severe mucosal injury in celiac disease. I am currently investigating the role of additional environmental factors, such as chronic infection, in the model.

Methodologies
Gastrointestinal contractility, in vivo motility studies, barrier function, RT- PCR, ELISA, immunohistochemistry, probiotic bacteria cultures, animal model of gliadin sensitivity, animal model of chronic Helicobacter pylori infection, lymphocyte proliferation.

Focus

My main project employs HLA-DQ8 transgenic mice lacking endogenous mouse class II gene expression. I have found that HLA-DQ8 mice develop gliadin sensitivity and altered neuromuscular and epithelial gut function, in the absence of severe mucosal injury. This mechanism may underlie the generation of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-like symptoms in patients with gliadin sensitivity, and explain why symptomatically, celiac disease can mimic IBS. The results also suggest that genetic predisposition and gliadin exposure are insufficient to trigger severe mucosal injury in celiac disease. I am currently investigating the role of additional environmental factors, such as chronic infection, in the model.

Selected Publications

  1. Pinier M, Verdú EF, Nasser-Eddine M, David CD, Vézina A, Rivard N, Leroux JC. Suppression of gliadin-induced toxicity by poly(hydroxyethylmethacrylate-co-sodium 4-styrene sulfonate): A potential supportive treatment for CD. Gastroenterology 2008; Sep 20. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Verdú EF, Bercik P, Huang X, Lu J, Al-Mutawaly N, Sakai H, Tompkins TA, Croitoru K, Tsuchida E, Perdue M, Collins SM. The role of luminal factors in the recovery of gastric function and behavioral changes after chronic Helicobacter pylori infection. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2008; 295:G664-70.
  3. Verdú EF, Huang X, Natividad J, Lu J, Blennerhassett PA, David CS, McKay DM, Murray JA. Gliadin-dependent neuromuscular and epithelial secretory responses in gluten-sensitive HLA-DQ8 transgenic mice. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2008; 294:G217-25.
  4. Verdú EF, Huang X, Natividad J, Lu J, Blennerhassett PA, David CS, McKay DM, Murray JA. Gliadin-dependent neuromuscular and epithelial secretory responses in gluten sensitive HLA-DQ8 transgenic mice. AJP Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2008; 294: G217-25.
  5. Verdú EF, Mauro M, Bourgeois J, Armstrong D. Clinical onset of celiac disease after an episode of Campylobacter jejuni enteritis. Can J Gastroenterol 2007; 21:453-5.
  6. Ghia JE, Blennerhassett P, Kumar-Ondiveeran H, Verdú EF, Collins SM. The vagus nerve: a tonic inhibitory influence associated with inflammatory bowel disease in a murine model. Gastroenterology 2006 Oct; 131:1122-30.
  7. Verma-Gandhu M, Verdú EF, Bercik P, Blennerhassett PA, Al-Mutawaly N, Ghia JE, Collins SM.Visceral pain perception is determined by the duration of colitis and associated neuropeptide expression in the mouse. Gut 2007; 56:358-64.
  8. Verma-Gandhu M, Verdú EF, Cohen-Lyons DP, Collins SM. Lymphocyte mediated regulation of beta-endorphin in the myenteric plexus. AJP Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2007; 292:G344-8.
  9. Martin FP, Verdú EF, Wang Y, Dumas ME, Yap IKS, Cloarec O, Bergonzelli GE, Corthesy-Theulaz I, Kochhar S, Holmes E, Lindon JC, Collins SM, Nicholson JK. Transgenomic metabolic interactions in a mouse disease model: interactions of Trichinella spiralis infection with dietary Lactobacillus paracasei supplementation. J Proteome Res 2006; 5: 2185-2193.
  10. Khan WI, Motomura Y, Wang H, El-Sharkawy RT, Verdú EF, Verma-Gandhu M, Rollins BJ, Collins SM. Critical Role of MCP-1 in the Pathogenesis of Experimental Colitis in the Context of Immune and Enterochromaffin Cells. AJP Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2006; 291:G803-11.
  11. Varghese AK, Verdú EF, Bercik P, Khan WI, Blennerhassett PA, Szechtman H, Collins SM. Antidepressants attenuate increased susceptibility to colitis in a murine model of depression. Gastroenterology 2006; 130:1743-53.
  12. Verma-Gandhu M, Bercik P, Motomura Y, Verdú EF, WI Khan, Blennerhassett PA, Wang L, El-Sharkawy RT, Collins SM. CD4+ -T cell modulation of visceral nociception in mice. Gastroenterology 2006; 130:1721-8.
  13. Motomura Y, Khan WI, El-Sharkawy RT, Verma-Gandhu M, Verdú EF, Gauldie J, Collins SM. Induction of a fibrogenic response in mouse colon by overexpression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. Gut 2006; 55: 662-70.
  14. Verdú EF, Bercik P, Verma-Gandhu M, Huang XX, Blennerhassett P, Jackson W, Mao Y, Wang L, Rochat F, Collins SM. Specific probiotic therapy attenuates antibiotic-induced visceral hypersensitivity in mice. Gut 2006; 55: 182-90.
  15. Verdú EF, Bercik P, Bergonzelli G, Rochat F, Blennerhasset P, Huang X, Corthésy-Theulaz I, Collins SM. SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Lactobacillus paracasei normalizes muscle hypercontractility in a murine model of post-infective gut dysfunction. Gastroenterology 2004; 127: 826-37.