Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lipid blocks influenza infection

Date:
November 9, 2011
Source:
National Jewish Health
Summary:
A natural lipid in the fluid lining the lungs inhibits influenza infections in both cell cultures and mouse models, according to researchers. These findings, combined with previous studies demonstrating effectiveness against respiratory syncytial virus, suggest that the molecule, known as POPG, may have broad antiviral activity. Supplemental POPG could be an important, inexpensive and novel approach for the prevention and treatment of influenza and other respiratory virus infections.

A natural lipid in the fluid lining the lungs inhibits influenza infections in both cell cultures and mouse models, according to researchers at National Jewish Health. These findings, combined with previous studies demonstrating effectiveness against respiratory syncytial virus, suggest that the molecule, known as POPG, may have broad antiviral activity.

"Supplemental POPG could be an important, inexpensive and novel approach for the prevention and treatment of influenza and other respiratory virus infections," said Dennis Voelker, PhD, Professor of Medicine, and senior author in the report, published online in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.

Influenza infects millions of people across the globe, killing 500,000 each year. Vaccines are highly effective, but must be reformulated each year to counter new viral strains. Two classes of drug are currently available to treat established influenza infections, although widespread resistance has developed against one class and is developing against the other.

Several proteins that inhibit viral activity have been identified in the fluid lining the lungs. Until recently, however, the antiviral role of POPG (palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidylglycerol) has been unknown. Previous research by Dr. Voelker, Mari Numata, MD, PhD, and their colleagues demonstrated that POPG reduces inflammation in the lung and prevents infection by respiratory syncytial virus.

In the most recent study, the researchers looked at the ability of POPG to inhibit infection by two strains of influenza, H1N1-PR8 and H3N2. They found that POPG suppressed inflammatory responses, viral propagation and cell death normally associated with influenza infection. In mice, POPG also suppressed viral infection and replication, and markedly reduced the inflammatory response to the virus. There were no observable deleterious effects of POPG in animal behavior or histopathology.

"Lipids such as POPG, offer potential advantages over antiviral proteins, because they are less likely to elicit unwanted immune responses, are more chemically stable and less expensive to manufacture than proteins," said Dr. Numata, an instructor at National Jewish Health, and lead author on both the RSV and influenza papers. "Because POPG is effective against at least two different viruses, it also seems likely that a single mutation, which can make influenza vaccines and current drugs ineffective, is unlikely to have the same effect on POPG's action."

The researchers showed that POPG works by binding strongly to viral particles, which prevents attachment and infection of cells. This means that POPG works best if given before an infection occurs.

It has potential, however, to work after an infection has begun by inhibiting spread of the virus to uninfected cells. The success of POPG treatment after a virus infection has been established depends on keeping the lipid levels high for an extended period. At present it is difficult to maintain high levels of POPG in mice because of their rapid metabolisms and rapid respiratory rate.

"We believe POPG may prove effective both before and after an infection has occurred," said Dr. Voelker. "Our initial results suggest that it may be possible to maintain therapeutic levels in the body with a reasonable dosing scheme, and we are investigating that now."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Jewish Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Numata, P. Kandasamy, Y. Nagashima, J. Posey, K. Hartshorn, D. Woodland, D. R. Voelker. Phosphatidylglycerol Suppresses Influenza A Virus Infection. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, 2011; DOI: 10.1165/rcmb.2011-0194OC

Cite This Page:

National Jewish Health. "Lipid blocks influenza infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111109131827.htm>.
National Jewish Health. (2011, November 9). Lipid blocks influenza infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111109131827.htm
National Jewish Health. "Lipid blocks influenza infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111109131827.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. 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