Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New light shed on virus associated with developmental delays and deafness

Date:
November 28, 2012
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
A new study reveals that primitive human stem cells are resistant to human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), one of the leading prenatal causes of congenital intellectual disability, deafness and deformities worldwide. Researchers found that as stem cells and other primitive cells mature into neurons, they become more susceptible to HCMV, which could allow them to find effective treatments for the virus and to prevent its potentially devastating consequences.

A new study published online in PLOS ONE reveals that primitive human stem cells are resistant to human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), one of the leading prenatal causes of intellectual disability, deafness and deformities worldwide. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that as stem cells and other primitive cells mature into neurons, they become more susceptible to HCMV, which could allow them to find effective treatments for the virus and to prevent its potentially devastating consequences.

"Previous studies have focused on other species and other cell types, but those studies did not evaluate what the cytomegalovirus does to human brain cells," said Vishwajit Nimgaonkar, M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and senior author of the report. "This study is the first of its kind, and the first to discover that primitive stem cells are actually resistant to HCMV."

Access to cultured human neurons, necessary to understand the pathogenic effects of HCMV, has been limited by difficulties in growing the brain cells in the laboratory. Yet through human-induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, researchers were able to overcome this hurdle.

The study authors derived live iPS cells by reprogramming cells called fibroblasts obtained from human skin biopsies. The iPS cells were then induced to mature through several stages into neurons, the primary cells in the brain. The researchers were able to evaluate the patterns of damage caused by HCMV on all these cells.

The research findings suggest:

• Human iPS cells do not permit a full viral replication cycle, suggesting for the first time that these cells can resist CMV infection

• CMV infection distorts iPS cell differentiation into neurons, and that may be a mechanism by which infected babies develop impairments of brain maturation and intellectual ability

• iPS-derived mature neurons are more susceptible to CMV infection and once infected show effects including defective function that have been shown in other animal studies and in other human tissues, and the neurons die a few days after infection lab studies, possibly reflecting the impact of CMV on the human brain

"The findings were quite surprising, but this is only the first in a series of studies on HCMV," added Nimgaonkar. "There is a lot of interest in what we can do to treat the infection, and current work is already underway to screen for new drugs that could be used to fight these viruses."

Between 50 and 80 percent of people in the U.S. have been infected by HCMV by the time they reach 40. Infections are rarely serious, but the virus does not leave the body. CMV is also the most common congenital infection in the U.S., and occurs when a mother contracts CMV during pregnancy and passes the virus to her unborn child. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of every 150 children are born with CMV infection and one in five of them develop permanent problems, such as intellectual disability, vision and hearing loss, and seizures.

Pitt researchers are collaborating with the Drug Discovery Institute to further understand the cellular system and determine which agents are most effective against HCMV and similar viruses, and which treatments would be safe for human use.

The lead author of the report is Leonardo D'Aiuto, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh. Collaborators on this study include Roberto Di Maio, Ph.D., Brianna Heath, Giorgio Raimondi, Ph.D., Jadranka Milosevic, Ph.D., Annie M Watson, Mikhil Bamne, Ph.D., W Tony Parks, M.D., Lei Yang, Ph.D., Bo Lin, Ph.D, Toshio Miki, M.D., Ph.D., Jocelyn Danielle Mich-Basso, Etienne Sibille, Ph.D., all of the University of Pittsburgh, and Ravit Arav-Boger, M.D., Sarven Sabunciyan, Ph.D., Robert Yolken, M.D., all of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Leonardo D'Aiuto, Roberto Di Maio, Brianna Heath, Giorgio Raimondi, Jadranka Milosevic, Annie M. Watson, Mikhil Bamne, W. Tony Parks, Lei Yang, Bo Lin, Toshio Miki, Jocelyn Danielle Mich-Basso, Ravit Arav-Boger, Etienne Sibille, Sarven Sabunciyan, Robert Yolken, Vishwajit Nimgaonkar. Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Models to Investigate Human Cytomegalovirus Infection in Neural Cells. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (11): e49700 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0049700

Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "New light shed on virus associated with developmental delays and deafness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121128143539.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2012, November 28). New light shed on virus associated with developmental delays and deafness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121128143539.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "New light shed on virus associated with developmental delays and deafness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121128143539.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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