Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Discover How Immune System Rids Nervous System Of Mosquito-Borne Viruses

Date:
July 17, 2001
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health
Summary:
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have determined that neurons in the central nervous system react differently to the body’s immune defenses to rid themselves of viruses that cause encephalitis, such as West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis viruses. Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain and can cause neurological problems including, seizures, coma, and death.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have determined that neurons in the central nervous system react differently to the body’s immune defenses to rid themselves of viruses that cause encephalitis, such as West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis viruses. Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain and can cause neurological problems including, seizures, coma, and death.

In a study published in the July 13, 2001 issue of Science, researchers discovered that T-cells produce a protein, interferon-g, which can clear the virus in neurons located in the spinal cord and brain stem, but not in neurons located in the cerebral cortex. Neurons are cells that conduct and generate electrical impulses to carry information throughout the central nervous system. The findings add to the understanding of lymphocytes in the immune system and interactions of the central nervous system and could lead to new approaches to the treatment of viral encephalitis.

“Our previous research indicated that antibodies successfully clear infection from the central nervous system. With this study, we wanted to see if lymphocytes could also clear viral infections from the neurons,” says Diane Griffin, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Normally, T-cells control virus infections by destroying infected cells, but that would be counterproductive for neurons, because the body does not make new neurons,” explains Dr. Griffin.

For the study, the researchers observed mice that did not have the ability to produce antibodies and compared them to normal mice. The mice were infected with Sindbis virus, a mosquito-borne virus related to other causes of encephalitis transmitted by mosquitoes, such as West Nile and Eastern Equine encephalitis viruses.

During the experiments, Gwendolyn Binder, a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Griffin, observed that CD4 and CD8 T-cells both successfully cleared the virus from the neurons from the spinal cord and brain stem using interferon-g. However, the neurons in the brain cortex did not react to the interferon-g in the same manner. This indicated a site-specific response to this clearance mechanism among the neurons. In addition, the researchers observed that another protein, TNF-a, produced by the T-cells was unable to clear the virus from the central nervous system.

“This research shows that virus-infected neurons do not all respond to the lymphocyte immune system in the same way to clear infection. Therefore, different combinations of antibody and T-cell immunity may be needed for control of infection and recovery from encephalitis depending on the parts of the brain or spinal cord that are infected,” adds Dr. Griffin.

B. Schofield assisted with imaging and photography for the study. Support was provided by grants from the Markey Foundation (G.K.B.) and from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (D.E.G.).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health. "Researchers Discover How Immune System Rids Nervous System Of Mosquito-Borne Viruses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010717081312.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health. (2001, July 17). Researchers Discover How Immune System Rids Nervous System Of Mosquito-Borne Viruses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010717081312.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health. "Researchers Discover How Immune System Rids Nervous System Of Mosquito-Borne Viruses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010717081312.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins