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Oeiras, Portugal

Vicente T.,Animal Cell Technology Unit | Roldao A.,Animal Cell Technology Unit | Peixoto C.,Animal Cell Technology Unit | Carrondo M.J.T.,Animal Cell Technology Unit | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Invertebrate Pathology

Virus-like particles (VLPs) hold tremendous potential as vaccine candidates. These innovative biopharmaceuticals present the remarkable advantages of closely mimicking the three-dimensional nature of an actual virus while lacking the virus genome packaged inside its capsid. As a result, an equally efficient but safer prophylaxis is anticipated as compared to inactivated or live attenuated viral vaccines. With the advent of successful cases of approved VLP-based vaccines, pharmaceutical companies are indeed redirecting their resources to the development of such products. This paper reviews the current choices and trends of large-scale production and purification of VLP-based vaccines generated through the baculovirus expression vector system using insect cells. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

Amaral A.I.,Animal Cell Technology Unit | Teixeira A.P.,Animal Cell Technology Unit | Martens S.,Animal Cell Technology Unit | Bernal V.,Animal Cell Technology Unit | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Neurochemistry

Disruption of brain energy metabolism is the hallmark of cerebral ischemia, a major cause of death worldwide. Astrocytes play a key role in the regulation of brain metabolism and their vulnerability to ischemia has been described. Aiming to quantify the effects of an ischemic insult in astrocytic metabolism, primary cultures of astrocytes were subjected to 5 h of oxygen and glucose deprivation in a bioreactor. Flux distributions, before and after ischemia, were estimated by metabolic flux analysis using isotopic information and the consumption/secretion rates of relevant extracellular metabolites as constraints. During ischemia and early recovery, 30% of cell death was observed; several metabolic alterations were also identified reflecting a metabolic response by the surviving cells. In the early recovery (∼10 h), astrocytes up-regulated glucose utilization by 30% and increased the pentose phosphate pathway and tricarboxylic acid cycle fluxes by three and twofold, respectively. Additionally, a two to fivefold enhancement in branched-chain amino acids catabolism suggested the importance of anaplerotic molecules to the fast recovery of the energetic state, which was corroborated by measured cellular ATP levels. Glycolytic metabolism was predominant in the late recovery. In summary, this work demonstrates that changes in fluxes of key metabolic pathways are implicated in the recovery from ischemia in astrocytes. © 2010 International Society for Neurochemistry. Source

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