European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Neuroactive compounds in Tomatoes and their role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases via the gut-brain axis using a multi-Omics approach

Project description

Understanding role of neuroactive compounds in the diet in the development of neurodegenerative diseases

Growing evidence points to the links between diet, gut, and neurodegenerative diseases (ND). Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the NeuroTOm project aims to understand the significance of exposure to neuroactive compounds in the diet. Using tomato as a food source, the study will elucidate the role of these chemicals in the gut-brain axis and the ND disease development after digestion. The neuroprotective and neurodisrupting compounds from organic, conventional, and processed tomatoes will be characterised by mass spectrometry. In vitro colon models will be employed to study the fate of these compounds in the gut and identify gut-microbial metabolites and their effect on intestinal epithelium cells.


Neurodegenerative (ND) diseases are debilitating and largely untreatable conditions that affect millions worldwide, including 7+ million Europeans. Although there remains no cure, there is growing evidence of a correlation between diet, gut, and ND diseases but a deeper understanding of what happens to neuroactive compounds once digested and their role in the communication between gut and brain is still missing. In response, NeuroTOm will answer complex questions about human exposure to neuroactive compounds (using tomato as a model food), such as what happens to these chemicals during digestion and their role in the gut-brain axis and ND disease development. It will use advanced mass spectrometry-based techniques to characterise neuroprotective and neuro-disrupting compounds in tomatoes produced organically, conventionally, and processed. An in vitro batch colon model will then be applied to investigate the fate of these compounds in the gut microbiome and identify gut-microbial metabolites. A step towards more realistic conditions will be made by investigating how the presence of neuro-disrupting compounds influences the bioavailability and beneficial effects of neuroprotective compounds in the gut. Selected compounds will also be tested using an innovative in vitro 3D colon (organoid) model to determine the role of neuroprotective/disruptive compounds and their gut microbial metabolites on intestinal epithelium cells. The proposed research is highly interdisciplinary and encompasses analytical and food chemistry, holistic and multi-omics approaches, nutritional biochemistry, biotechnology, and aspects of neuroscience. The goal of NeuroTOm is to extend the knowledge of diet–gut microbiome–host (brain) interactions and will contribute towards preventing or alleviating the burden of ND disease.


Net EU contribution
€ 172 750,08
38098 San Michele All'Adige

See on map

Nord-Est Provincia Autonoma di Trento Trento
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Partners (1)