Latifa Hajri

  • Designation: PhD student, Laboratory of integrated Physiology, Faculty of Sciences of Bizerta, University of Carthage
  • Country: Tunisia
  • Title: Investigating the Effects of Pearl Millet in the Food and Water Consumption, and Animal Welfare: Data from K14-HPV16 Transgenic Mice


Latifa Hajri is a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Sciences of Bizerta/Tunisia. With a master's in biological sciences in 2020. Her research has been focused on the study of the importance of pearl Millet as cereal in animal and Human Health. Her main motivation is to understand how this plant can be enhanced its anti-oxidative stress and anti-inflammatory effects in order to maximize its benefits for animal and human health. Recently, she has driven her research in Portugal to develop a study of the valorization of Pearl Millet in the treatment of Cutaneous Alterations and biochemical disorders identified in K14HPV16 mice.


Introduction & Aim: Apart from traditional drugs, herbal foods are currently under focus for the treatment of several diseases, including cancer. Pearl Millet (PM) is a grain used as a traditional food for many populations in various countries worldwide, particularly in arid and semi-arid areas, including Tunisia. Nutritionally, millet contains more nutrients than rice or wheat, being rich in lipids, vitamins, fibers, minerals, and micronutrients, like flavonoids and tannins. This study addressed the effects of whole PM seed powder on food and water consumption in the K14-HPV16 transgenic mice model.

Material & Methods: The study was authorized by the ORBEA at UTAD. 25 male mice were used and randomly divided into five groups (GI to GV, n=5): GI (HPV16-/-), GII (HPV16-/-, 36% PM), GIII (HPV16+/-), GIV (HPV16+/-, 29% PM), GV (HPV16+/-, 36% PM). The PM flour was mixed with normal food in two different concentrations (29% and 36%) and provided to the animals of GII, IV, and V for 28 consecutive days. During the experiment, the body weight, food, and water consumption, and humane endpoints (body mass; posture; the appearance of the hair and grooming; mucous membranes; eyes, ears, and whiskers; mental state; respiratory rate; and skin appearance) were recorded. A score from 0 to 3 was attributed to each parameter. The ponderal weight gain (PWG) of each animal was determined using the following formula: Final body weight - Initial body weight/Final body weight × 100. Data were analyzed using GraphPad Prism.

Results: The mean body weight of wild-type animals (G I and II) decreased between the first and the last week of the trial, while the opposite was observed in transgenic mice (G III, IV, and V). Despite the variation in animals’ body weight during the trial, no differences were found in the final body weight among groups (34.93 ± 2.14g in GI; 34.53 ± 2.55g in GII; 33.24 ± 1.61g in GIII; 33.59 ± 2.54g in GIV; and 34.28± 1.59g in GV (p>0.05). In a general way, the mean food and water intake increased from the first to the third week of the experiment, and a marked decrease in consumption was observed in the last week for all groups. No changes to humane endpoints were observed in GI and II. The score of humane endpoints was higher in GIII when compared with
transgenic mice fed with PM flour (GIV and V).

Conclusions: PM consumption seems to not change the body weight, neither food nor water consumption in both wildtype and transgenic mice. The supplementation with PM flour seems to ameliorate the animals’ health status. More studies, namely histopathological, biochemical, and oxidative stress analysis, are warranted to better understand the effects of PM intake in K14-HPV16 transgenic mice.

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