Faking cellular suicide could help control inflammation
Chronic inflammation often impedes the very healing that it is meant to promote. Many drugs have been invented to combat that problem, but none is as effective as doctors would like. Now, as they describe in a paper in ACS Macro Letters, a team led by Mitsuhiro Ebara at the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan have come up with a new approach. They have worked out how to persuade cells in inflamed tissues to believe that other cells nearby have just committed suicide.
Zika virus selectively infects and kills glioblastoma cells in mice
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the flavivirus genus of RNA viruses, which includes dengue, West Nile virus (WNV), and yellow fever viruses. The recent outbreak of ZIKV-induced fetal microcephaly has spurred extensive research into its cell tropism. ZIKV infects the developing CNS, with neural stem and progenitor cells prominently affected. Neural precursors infected with ZIKV undergo differentiation, loss of proliferation, and cell death. In contrast, the effects of ZIKV in adults are generally less severe, with rare cases of meningoencephalitis, suggesting that ZIKV infection has fewer deleterious effects in the adult brain.
In The Journal of Experimental Medicine, researchers describe the impact of ZIKV on glioblastoma cells in both human tissue samples and mice.