UTMB

Galveston, TX, United States
Galveston, TX, United States

Time filter

Source Type

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston scientists have unlocked mysteries of how the Ebola virus hampers the body's natural defenses to speed the rate of infection and its accompanying lethal disease, according to a new report in PLOS Pathogens. The study was conducted in collaboration with the University of Washington and The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Specifically, the researchers found that the Ebola virus binds directly to white blood cells (critical to the immune system) leading to their death. "There are experimental Ebola vaccines and therapies being tested in clinical trials, but none have received final approval yet," said senior author Alexander Bukreyev, a UTMB virologist in the departments of pathology and microbiology & immunology. "Understanding how the invading Ebola virus shuts down the host's immune systems is a very important step in developing targeted therapies for Ebola virus disease." When someone is infected with Ebola, his or her lymphocytes - a type of white blood cell that is an important part of the immune system - quickly disappear. This issue is often seen in patients who succumb to the disease, whereas people who survive have been shown to maintain lymphocyte levels throughout the course of the disease. The Ebola virus is not able to directly infect these white blood cells but yet they still die. It was known previously that the virus does affect cells and pathways that are critical to the well-being of lymphocytes, including a certain signaling pathway following binding to a receptor called TLR4. The goal of this study was to learn whether Ebola somehow directly impacts the lymphocytes and the role of TLR4 in lymphocyte cell death during an Ebola infection. The researchers showed for the first time that despite the inability of Ebola to infect lymphocytes, it directly binds to them and causes cell death. The binding does involve the TLR4 pathway, among others. When Ebola virus binds to lymphocytes, TLR4 pathways activate cells and contribute to the death of lymphocytes, leaving the person more vulnerable to viral invasion. "Adding a chemical that blocks TLR4 activation protected the lymphocytes in the presence of Ebola, confirming its role in infection and spread of disease throughout the body," said Dr. Mathieu Iampietro, the co-lead author of the study. "Our findings suggest that a drug that blocks TLR4 could be used to treat patients with Ebola and extends our earlier findings that the TLR4 receptor antagonist Eritoran protects against both Ebola and the closely related Marburg virus," said Patrick Younan, the other co-lead author of the study. Bukreyev continued that the study highlights the diverse strategies used by Ebola to cause lymphocytes to die through both direct and indirect methods, despite lack of infection.


News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

GALVESTON, Texas - University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston scientists have unlocked mysteries of how the Ebola virus hampers the body's natural defenses to speed the rate of infection and its accompanying lethal disease, according to a new report in PLOS Pathogens. The study was conducted in collaboration with the University of Washington and The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Specifically, the researchers found that the Ebola virus binds directly to white blood cells (critical to the immune system) leading to their death. "There are experimental Ebola vaccines and therapies being tested in clinical trials, but none have received final approval yet," said senior author Alexander Bukreyev, a UTMB virologist in the departments of pathology and microbiology & immunology. "Understanding how the invading Ebola virus shuts down the host's immune systems is a very important step in developing targeted therapies for Ebola virus disease." When someone is infected with Ebola, his or her lymphocytes - a type of white blood cell that is an important part of the immune system - quickly disappear. This issue is often seen in patients who succumb to the disease, whereas people who survive have been shown to maintain lymphocyte levels throughout the course of the disease. The Ebola virus is not able to directly infect these white blood cells but yet they still die. It was known previously that the virus does affect cells and pathways that are critical to the well-being of lymphocytes, including a certain signaling pathway following binding to a receptor called TLR4. The goal of this study was to learn whether Ebola somehow directly impacts the lymphocytes and the role of TLR4 in lymphocyte cell death during an Ebola infection. The researchers showed for the first time that despite the inability of Ebola to infect lymphocytes, it directly binds to them and causes cell death. The binding does involve the TLR4 pathway, among others. When Ebola virus binds to lymphocytes, TLR4 pathways activate cells and contribute to the death of lymphocytes, leaving the person more vulnerable to viral invasion. "Adding a chemical that blocks TLR4 activation protected the lymphocytes in the presence of Ebola, confirming its role in infection and spread of disease throughout the body," said Dr. Mathieu Iampietro, the co-lead author of the study. "Our findings suggest that a drug that blocks TLR4 could be used to treat patients with Ebola and extends our earlier findings that the TLR4 receptor antagonist Eritoran protects against both Ebola and the closely related Marburg virus," said Patrick Younan, the other co-lead author of the study. Bukreyev continued that the study highlights the diverse strategies used by Ebola to cause lymphocytes to die through both direct and indirect methods, despite lack of infection. Other authors include UTMB's Ndongala Michel Lubaki and Rodrigo Santos; Andrew Nishida, Mukta Dutta and Michael Katze from the University of Washington in Seattle and Richard Koup from The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston scientists have unlocked mysteries of how the Ebola virus hampers the body's natural defenses to speed the rate of infection and its accompanying lethal disease, according to a new report in PLOS Pathogens. The study was conducted in collaboration with the University of Washington and The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Specifically, the researchers found that the Ebola virus binds directly to white blood cells (critical to the immune system) leading to their death. "There are experimental Ebola vaccines and therapies being tested in clinical trials, but none have received final approval yet," said senior author Alexander Bukreyev, a UTMB virologist in the departments of pathology and microbiology & immunology. "Understanding how the invading Ebola virus shuts down the host's immune systems is a very important step in developing targeted therapies for Ebola virus disease." When someone is infected with Ebola, his or her lymphocytes -- a type of white blood cell that is an important part of the immune system -- quickly disappear. This issue is often seen in patients who succumb to the disease, whereas people who survive have been shown to maintain lymphocyte levels throughout the course of the disease. The Ebola virus is not able to directly infect these white blood cells but yet they still die. It was known previously that the virus does affect cells and pathways that are critical to the well-being of lymphocytes, including a certain signaling pathway following binding to a receptor called TLR4. The goal of this study was to learn whether Ebola somehow directly impacts the lymphocytes and the role of TLR4 in lymphocyte cell death during an Ebola infection. The researchers showed for the first time that despite the inability of Ebola to infect lymphocytes, it directly binds to them and causes cell death. The binding does involve the TLR4 pathway, among others. When Ebola virus binds to lymphocytes, TLR4 pathways activate cells and contribute to the death of lymphocytes, leaving the person more vulnerable to viral invasion. "Adding a chemical that blocks TLR4 activation protected the lymphocytes in the presence of Ebola, confirming its role in infection and spread of disease throughout the body," said Dr. Mathieu Iampietro, the co-lead author of the study. "Our findings suggest that a drug that blocks TLR4 could be used to treat patients with Ebola and extends our earlier findings that the TLR4 receptor antagonist Eritoran protects against both Ebola and the closely related Marburg virus," said Patrick Younan, the other co-lead author of the study. Bukreyev continued that the study highlights the diverse strategies used by Ebola to cause lymphocytes to die through both direct and indirect methods, despite lack of infection. Other authors include UTMB's Ndongala Michel Lubaki and Rodrigo Santos; Andrew Nishida, Mukta Dutta and Michael Katze from the University of Washington in Seattle and Richard Koup from The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


GALVESTON, Texas -The first live-attenuated Zika vaccine still in the development stage completely protected mice against the virus after a single vaccination dose, according to new research from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Instituto Evandro Chagas at the Ministry of Health in Brazil. The findings are currently available in Nature Medicine. While a Zika infection typically results in mild or symptom-free infections in healthy adults and children, the risk of microcephaly and other diseases in the developing fetus is an alarming consequence that has created a worldwide health threat. Pregnant women who are infected with the Zika virus but never display any disease symptoms may still give birth to a baby with microcephaly. An effective vaccine is urgently needed for women of childbearing age and travelers to areas where the virus has been reported. Since Zika virus could also be sexually transmitted, prevention of men from infection through vaccination could also halt Zika transmission and diseases. Rapid and promising progress has been made toward a Zika vaccine. These developing vaccines have been made from an inactivated version of the Zika virus or subunits of the virus; these vaccine candidates have been shown effective in mice and nonhuman primates. "We chose to pursue a vaccine made from live virus that has been sufficiently attenuated, or weakened, to be safe, and is able to illicit robust immune response to protect us from Zika virus infection. Such live-attenuated vaccine has the advantage of single-dose immunization, rapid and strong immune response and potentially long-lived protection," said UTMB's Pei-Yong Shi, senior author and the I.H. Kempner professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "A successful vaccine requires a fine balance between efficacy and safety - vaccines made from attenuated live viruses generally offer fast and durable immunity, but sometimes with the trade-off of reduced safety, whereas inactivated and subunit viruses often provide enhanced safety but may require several doses initially and periodic boosters. Therefore, a safe live-attenuated vaccine will be ideal in prevention of Zika virus infection, especially in developing countries." To create the vaccine, the researchers engineered the Zika virus by deleting one segment of the viral genome. A similar approach has successfully been used to develop a dengue virus vaccine, which is currently in phase three clinical trials. Shi explained that the data indicate that the vaccine the team is developing has a good balance between safety and efficacy. A single immunization with the vaccine candidate produced strong immune responses and prevented the virus from infecting mice at all. "Safety is a major hurdle when developing a live-attenuated vaccine. Our Zika vaccine showed promising safety profile in mice when compared with clinically approved live-attenuated vaccines, such as the yellow fever vaccine," Shi said. "Vaccines are an important tool for preventing Zika virus transmission and microcephaly," said Pedro F. C. Vasconcelos, medical virologist and present director of the Evandro Chagas Institute and co-author. "This vaccine, the first live-attenuated vaccine for Zika, will improve the public health efforts to avoid the birth defects and diseases caused by Zika in countries where the virus is commonly found. The initial target of this vaccine is women of childbearing age, their sexual partners and children less than 10 years old. Other authors include UTMB's Chao Shan, Antonio Muruato, Huanle Luo, Xuping Xie, Maki Wakamiya, Robert Tesh, Alan Barrett, Tian Wang, Scott Weaver, and Shannan Rossi; Bruno Nunes and Daniele Medeiros who are affiliated with UTMB and the Instituto Evandro Chagas at the Ministry of Health in Brazil. This work was supported by UTMB, The University of Texas System, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pan American Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

The Next Generation of CBD Therapy with the Integration of Precision Medicine ​​Cannliv, LLC (Cannliv) announces the formation of a contractual joint venture with Vyripharm Biopharmaceuticals, (Vyripharm) to provide medical cannabis to support Vyripharm’s research and development program dedicated to the treatment of epilepsy, once the State of Texas Compassionate Use Act (CUP) and Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) state initiative rolls out in 2017. In addition to epilepsy, Vyripharm’s research and development program is focused on cancers, PTSD and general cognitive disorders at medical facilities across Texas. This design of the joint venture will be to produce medical cannabis for the healthcare industry that is specific to each unique person and condition through diagnostic molecular imaging of the patient and developing a molecular profile of the plant (agriculture profile). By integrating Vyripharm’s personalized platforms, this innovative approach will require the patient to undergo imaging scans as the patient is being treated to hopefully follow the efficacy of the drug during and after treatment. If the imaging procedure performed while the patient is undergoing therapy reveals that the patient is not responding to the treatment, the attending physician can use this critical information to determine if the therapy should be discontinued and a different therapy selected for the patient. This partnership continues Cannliv’s mission to produce medical grade CBD products through the use of Vyripharm’s patented platforms for medical cannabis product certification and medical cannabis research and development. Through controlled testing of medical cannabis products at a Vyripharm Cannabis Processing Center, or CPC, scientists can perform cannabinoid profiling, microbiological testing, analytical testing, food testing, acidified food testing, liquid testing, and pathogen testing. This comprehensive testing platform should provide the standard for the medical cannabis industry in terms of quality control, quality assurance and patient safety. Vyripharm will conduct its research and development using Cannliv’s medical cannabinoid products with their partnering medical institutions; UTMD Anderson, UTMB, Baylor College of Medicine and the VA Texas Healthcare System (in Houston,TX).   The first of which occurred in August 2016 at UTMD Anderson. Vyripharm President, Jerry Bryant, had this to say about the partnership, “For decades, chemotherapy and external radiation have remained an integral part of cancer therapy planning even in light of the adverse collateral effects of such therapies, however, if we can integrate medical cannabinoids with these treatments, we may be able to reduce the side effects and provide a better quality of life for cancer patients and their families. We believe cannabinoids will play a vital future role in the physician’s treatment plan addressing cancer and other types of disease disorders.” Cannliv President & CEO, John David Carrasco stated, “During the last year, our efforts to understand the emerging cannabinoid markets has poised Cannliv to offer a comprehensive solution to the State of Texas for medical cannabis.  With our partnerships in the U.S. and International partners, Cannliv facilitates proven strains of Low Level THC Cannabis and brings these products to the medical industry in research, human trials, and patient treatment, resulting in integrated personalized medicine.” Vyripharm is focusing on theranostic medicine combining diagnostic molecular imaging with target specific therapy to provide a greater degree of precision in addressing the patient’s medical condition on a personal level. Healthcare providers and patients will be able to identify specific medical cannabis strains that react best to specific conditions, resulting in better treatment outcomes. Cannliv’s first group of dispensaries will be located in Houston and Dallas, with additional locations across the state once qualified and Cannliv is awarded license.   Their complete CANNLIVE 1.0 Solution will be used to manage our Seed to Sale internal system for inventory tracking, accounting and registry integration as defined by the State of Texas. ABOUT CANNLIV, LLC  Cannliv is a Texas based biopharmaceutical manufacturer with its sole purpose to produce a natural, clean and user-friendly Cannabinoid products made with the purist ingredients for a truly consistent and reliable source of CBD.  Cannliv will be applying for the Compassionate Use Program licensing this month and will be announcing key partners resulting in proven treatment solutions for Texas. ABOUT VYRIPHARM BIOPHARMACEUTICALS Vyripharm is a biopharmaceutical firm focused on natural products, regulatory testing, pharmaceutical drug development of imaging agents, and drug delivery systems. The aim of Vyripharm is to improve clinical management through diagnosis and treatment with botanicals, synthetic pharmaceuticals, and drug delivery systems.


GALVESTON, Texas - Researchers have found a way to increase the effectiveness of a widely used cancer drug while decreasing the risk of heart-damaging side effects, according to a new study by researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The findings are currently available in the journal Scientific Reports Nature publishing group. UTMB professor Satish Srivastava said that combining a newly-developed drug with a drug used to fight numerous kinds of cancers makes it better suited as a colon cancer treatment. The widely-used drug, doxorubicin, is effective in fighting cancer but can be toxic to the heart when higher doses are needed. The research, Srivastava said, shows that using aldose reductase, an enzyme, when used with doxorubicin, reduces the toxins that can damage the heart. The researchers have shown earlier that exposure to cancer-causing agents like pollutants triggers oxidative stress, which is a driving source of cancer tissue growth. The oxidative signals are also involved in growing the new blood vessels needed by the cancer tissues. An effort to decrease the oxidative signals is one of the reasons for the popularity of antioxidant-containing foods, beverages, skin care products and vitamins. "We've shown that oxidative signals can be blocked by aldose reductase, or AR, inhibitors," said lead author Srivastava, who is a professor in UTMB's departments of biochemistry and molecular biology as well as ophthalmology and visual sciences. "If we could prevent development of the new blood vessels in the cancer tissue driven by these signals, tumor growth and metastasis can be slowed down or prevented." The researchers have been using an AR inhibitor called fidarestat to learn how well it prevents growth and metastasis of cancer. The drug has completed Phase II clinical trials in the U.S. and Phase III in Japan for preventing diabetic neuropathy and was found to have no major side effects. Doxorubicin is commonly prescribed to fight several types of cancers including breast and lung cancers. It is also very cost effective, compared to other cancer drugs. However, colon cancers become resistant to this drug so a higher dosage must be used for it to be effective. The trouble with this is that at higher dosages, it can be toxic to the heart. "In the study, using human colon cancer cell lines, we showed that the growth of cancer cells can be largely prevented using a combination of both drugs in a petri dish as well as in mouse models," said Srivastava. "Since doxorubicin is one of the cheapest drugs that is effective against many types of cancer but rarely used in colon cancer, the combination therapy could be highly effective in combating colon cancer while drastically lowering risk of cardiotoxic side effects." Srivastava said that since the FDA-approved fidarestat is available through a company in Japan, his eventual goal is to use a combination of fidarestat and doxorubicin to combat various forms of cancer including colon cancer with the hope that combination therapy will require less doxorubicin, which will reduce the potential for toxicity. Other authors include UTMB's Himangshu Sonowal, Pabitra Pal, Jian-Jun Wen and Kota Ramana as well as Sanjay Awasthi from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Feb. 23, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TOMI™ Environmental Solutions, Inc. (TOMI) (OTCQX:TOMZ), a global bacteria decontamination and infection prevention company, and its board of directors announced the formation and approval of  TOMI’s scientific advisory board. “We are honored William, Miguel and Helene – experts in intellectual property law, biosafety and infection prevention, respectively – have agreed to join our scientific advisory board,” stated Dr. Halden Shane, TOMI’s Chief Executive Officer. “We believe their support validates TOMI’s groundbreaking SteraMist™, and their guidance will help TOMI in "Innovating for a Safer World.” The team is charged with constructively challenging management to help develop strategy; ensuring the necessary resources are in place to enable us to achieve objectives in scientific research and development; and monitoring technological and regulatory trends that could impact our business as well as our performance against our goals. We believe their insight will be invaluable.” William M. Brown, PhD, MBA, JD William M. Brown, PhD, MBA, JD is a consultant and advisor to a series of biotech and life sciences companies. Dr. Brown is a seasoned attorney in intellectual property with deep experience in healthcare-related matters. He is licensed to practice law in several states and is a registered patent attorney. His consulting experience includes intellectual property portfolio management, clinical trial contracts, and patent/business development matters. He holds a PhD from the University of Southampton, England, an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a JD from New York Law School. Dr. Brown conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard, Johnson & Johnson, NIH, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Miguel A. Grimaldo, MEng Miguel A. Grimaldo, MEng is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Pathology, Director of Institutional Biocontainment Resources at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and the Director of the Biocontainment Engineering Division for the Galveston National Laboratory. His responsibilities include the review of all design, construction, commissioning and operation of High and Maximum containment laboratories as well as to ensure regulatory compliance and to conduct ongoing evaluation and recertification on all critical containment features, equipment and operations for Biosafety Level 3 (BSL‐3), Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL3) and Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4) laboratory facilities at UTMB. He is also a member of the UTMB Institutional Biosafety Committee. He has served as Committee Member for development of the ANSI Z9.14‐2014 Standard ‐ Testing and Performance‐Verification Methodologies for Ventilation Systems for Biosafety Level 3 (BSL‐3) and Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL‐3) facilities as well as for the 2016 Edition of the National Institute of Health (NIH) ‐ Design Requirements Manual (DRM) for Biomedical Laboratories and Animal Research Facilities. Miguel routinely serves as Biocontainment Advisor for containment laboratories nationally and internationally on design, construction and operations and also routinely contributes to a technical column in the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) journal, Applied Biosafety entitled, “Containment Talk”. Mr. Grimaldo obtained his Masters of Engineering from the University of Louisville and Bachelor of Science degrees in Agricultural Engineering and Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University. Dr. Helene Paxton, MS, MT(ASCP), PhD, CIC Dr. Helene Paxton, MS, MT(ASCP), PhD, CIC, is an Infection Preventionist, owner of Bio Guidance, LLC, adjunct biology professor at Rowan University and Director of Infection Prevention at Saint Francis Healthcare. She is Infection Control Certified (CIC), board certified as an International Medical Laboratory Scientist and holds a PhD in Epidemiology. Dr. Paxton has 40 plus years’ experience in medical devices and infectious disease consulting. Dr. Paxton obtained her PhD from Kennedy Western University and her MS from Bowling Green State University. Scientific Advisory Board Provisions and criteria have been set in the company's bylaws and scientific advisory board charter. TOMI’s scientific advisory board will always observe in the letter and spirit the duties, rights and role as a member of the company's board as stipulated in the relevant listing standards. About TOMI™ Environmental Solutions, Inc. TOMI™ Environmental Solutions, Inc. (OTCQX:TOMZ) is a global bacteria decontamination and infectious disease control company, providing eco-friendly environmental solutions for indoor surface disinfection through manufacturing, sales and licensing of its premier platform of Hydrogen Peroxide based product that uses Binary Ionization Technology® (BIT™) , a state of the art technology for the production of its Activated Ionized Hydrogen Peroxide mist represented by the TOMI™ SteraMist™ brand. TOMI’s products are designed to service a broad spectrum of commercial structures including hospitals and medical facilities, cruise ships, office buildings, hotel and motel rooms, schools, restaurants, for non-food safety in meat and produce processing facilities, military barracks, and athletic facilities. TOMI’s products and services have also been used in single-family homes and multi-unit residences. TOMI also develops training programs and application protocols for its clients and is a member in good standing with The American Biological Safety Association, The American Association of Tissue Banks, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, The Restoration Industry Association, Indoor Air Quality Association, and The International Ozone Association. For additional product information, visit www.tomimist.com or contact us at info@tomimist.com. Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 Certain written and oral statements made by us may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Reform Act”). Forward-looking statements are identified by such words and phrases as “we expect,” “expected to,” “estimates,” “estimated,” “current outlook,” “we look forward to,” “would equate to,” “projects,” “projections,” “projected to be,” “anticipates,” “anticipated,” “we believe,” “could be,” and other similar phrases. All statements addressing operating performance, events, or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future, including statements relating to revenue growth, earnings, earnings-per-share growth, or similar projections, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Reform Act. They are forward-looking, and they should be evaluated in light of important risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our anticipated results. The information provided in this document is based upon the facts and circumstances known at this time. We undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements after the date of this release.


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The findings are key to unraveling the mysteries of why the Zika virus causes birth defects A multidisciplinary team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has uncovered the mechanisms that the Zika virus uses to alter brain development. These findings are detailed in Stem Cell Reports. There are currently 70 countries and territories reporting active Zika transmission, according to the World Health Organization. While a Zika infection typically results in mild or symptom-free infections in healthy adults and children, the risk of microcephaly in the developing fetus is an alarming consequence that has created a worldwide health threat. Babies with microcephaly can have a wide array of problems including a small brain and head, developmental delays, seizures, vision and hearing loss and feeding difficulty. Scientists are trying to determine how a Zika infection triggers these defects. Since a normal brain develops from simple cells called stem cells that are able to develop into any one of various kinds of cells, the UTMB team deduced that microcephaly is most likely linked with abnormal function of these cells. There are two main lineages of the virus, African and Asian. Recently, the UTMB team found that only the Asian lineage has been linked with microcephaly. So, what is it about this particular form of the virus that inflicts such damage? The researchers established a method of investigating how Zika alters the production, survival and maturation of brain stem cells using cells donated from three human fetal brains. They focused on the impact of the Asian lineage Zika virus that was involved in the first outbreak in North America in late 2015. "We discovered that the Asian lineage Zika virus halted the proliferation of brain stem cells and hindered their ability to develop into brain nerve cells," said Ping Wu, senior author on the study and UTMB professor in the Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology. "However, the effect that the Zika virus had on the ability of stem cells to develop into specialized cells differed between donors. This difference seems to be linked with a Zika-induced change in global gene expression pattern, it remains to be seen which genes are responsible. Wu further stated, "the unique system containing stem cells from three donors will allow us to dissect molecular mechanisms underlying Zika virus-induced brain malformation." Senior author and UTMB associate professor in the Department of Pathology Nikos Vasilakis said that they discovered that two weeks after the cells had developed into a certain type, the Zika infection was mainly found in glial cells, which provide support and insulation for the brain. Other authors include UTMB's Erica McGrath, Shannan Rossi, Junling Gao, Steven Widen, Auston Grant, Tiffany Dunn, Sasha Azar, Christopher Roundy, Ying Xiong, Deborah Prusak, Bradford Loucas, Thomas Wood, Yongjia Yu and Scott Weaver, as well as Ildefonso Fernandez-Salas from the Centro Regional de Salud Publica in Mexico.


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

A multidisciplinary team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has uncovered the mechanisms that the Zika virus uses to alter brain development. These findings are detailed in Stem Cell Reports. There are currently 70 countries and territories reporting active Zika transmission, according to the World Health Organization. While a Zika infection typically results in mild or symptom-free infections in healthy adults and children, the risk of microcephaly in the developing fetus is an alarming consequence that has created a worldwide health threat. Babies with microcephaly can have a wide array of problems including a small brain and head, developmental delays, seizures, vision and hearing loss and feeding difficulty. Scientists are trying to determine how a Zika infection triggers these defects. Since a normal brain develops from simple cells called stem cells that are able to develop into any one of various kinds of cells, the UTMB team deduced that microcephaly is most likely linked with abnormal function of these cells. There are two main lineages of the virus, African and Asian. Recently, the UTMB team found that only the Asian lineage has been linked with microcephaly. So, what is it about this particular form of the virus that inflicts such damage? The researchers established a method of investigating how Zika alters the production, survival and maturation of brain stem cells using cells donated from three human fetal brains. They focused on the impact of the Asian lineage Zika virus that was involved in the first outbreak in North America in late 2015. "We discovered that the Asian lineage Zika virus halted the proliferation of brain stem cells and hindered their ability to develop into brain nerve cells," said Ping Wu, senior author on the study and UTMB professor in the Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology. "However, the effect that the Zika virus had on the ability of stem cells to develop into specialized cells differed between donors. This difference seems to be linked with a Zika-induced change in global gene expression pattern, it remains to be seen which genes are responsible. "The unique system containing stem cells from three donors will allow us to dissect molecular mechanisms underlying Zika virus-induced brain malformation," Wu added. Senior author and UTMB associate professor in the Department of Pathology Nikos Vasilakis said that they discovered that two weeks after the cells had developed into a certain type, the Zika infection was mainly found in glial cells, which provide support and insulation for the brain.


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

A multidisciplinary team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has uncovered the mechanisms that the Zika virus uses to alter brain development. These findings are detailed in Stem Cell Reports. There are currently 70 countries and territories reporting active Zika transmission, according to the World Health Organization. While a Zika infection typically results in mild or symptom-free infections in healthy adults and children, the risk of microcephaly in the developing fetus is an alarming consequence that has created a worldwide health threat. Babies with microcephaly can have a wide array of problems including a small brain and head, developmental delays, seizures, vision and hearing loss and feeding difficulty. Scientists are trying to determine how a Zika infection triggers these defects. Since a normal brain develops from simple cells called stem cells that are able to develop into any one of various kinds of cells, the UTMB team deduced that microcephaly is most likely linked with abnormal function of these cells. There are two main lineages of the virus, African and Asian. Recently, the UTMB team found that only the Asian lineage has been linked with microcephaly. So, what is it about this particular form of the virus that inflicts such damage? The researchers established a method of investigating how Zika alters the production, survival and maturation of brain stem cells using cells donated from three human fetal brains. They focused on the impact of the Asian lineage Zika virus that was involved in the first outbreak in North America in late 2015. "We discovered that the Asian lineage Zika virus halted the proliferation of brain stem cells and hindered their ability to develop into brain nerve cells," said Ping Wu, senior author on the study and UTMB professor in the Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology. "However, the effect that the Zika virus had on the ability of stem cells to develop into specialized cells differed between donors. This difference seems to be linked with a Zika-induced change in global gene expression pattern, it remains to be seen which genes are responsible. Wu further stated, "the unique system containing stem cells from three donors will allow us to dissect molecular mechanisms underlying Zika virus-induced brain malformation." Senior author and UTMB associate professor in the Department of Pathology Nikos Vasilakis said that they discovered that two weeks after the cells had developed into a certain type, the Zika infection was mainly found in glial cells, which provide support and insulation for the brain.

Loading UTMB collaborators
Loading UTMB collaborators