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Damaging consequences of Zika virus infection in human minibrains

Zika virus reduces growth, induces cell death, malformations in human neurospheres, brain organoids

Date:
April 11, 2016
Source:
D'Or Institute for Research and Education
Summary:
Brazilian researchers have demonstrated the harmful effects of ZIKA virus (ZIKV) in human neural stem cells, neurospheres and brain organoids. Since ZIKV has been gradually established as a direct cause of central nervous system malformations, this study help to elucidate the etiological nature of the recently increasing number of microcephaly cases in Brazil.
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Confocal microscopy of human neural stem cell culture infected with Zika virus (red). Cell nuclei are shown in blue. This material relates to a paper that appeared in the 14 April, online issue of Science, published by AAAS. The paper, by P.P. Garcez at D'Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and colleagues was titled, "Zika virus impairs growth in human neurospheres and brain organoids."
Credit: Erick Loiola, PhD and Rodrigo Madeiro, PhD - IDOR

Brazilian researchers from the D'Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) and Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) have demonstrated the harmful effects of ZIKA virus (ZIKV) in human neural stem cells, neurospheres and brain organoids. Since ZIKV has been gradually established as a direct cause of central nervous system malformations, this study help to elucidate the etiological nature of the recently increasing number of microcephaly cases in Brazil.

This paper will be published online by the journal Science.

Scientists headed by Dr. Stevens Rehen differentiated human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into neural stem cells and into further complex tridimensional structures, known as neurospheres and brain organoids. Neurospheres and brain organoids represent excellent models to investigate developmental neuropathologies, as they can outline, in vitro, several characteristics of the fetal brain formation.

In the present study conducted at IDOR in conjunction with UFRJ, the research team observed that ZIKV infects human-derived iPS neural cells, neurospheres and cerebral organoids causing cell death, malformations and reducing growth by 40%. The researchers also compared these results with the ones generated with Dengue Virus (DENV2). Even though DENV2 infected the cells such as ZIKV, there were no damaging outcomes registered to the neural cells, neurospheres or organoids.

Dr. Patricia Garcez, Assistant Professor at UFRJ and first author of the work, point out that "these unique results may unravel some key features of ZIKV infection in the developing brain."


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Materials provided by D'Or Institute for Research and Education. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. P. Garcez, E. C. Loiola, R. Madeiro da Costa, L. M. Higa, P. Trindade, R. Delvecchio, J. M. Nascimento, R. Brindeiro, A. Tanuri, S. K. Rehen. Zika virus impairs growth in human neurospheres and brain organoids. Science, 2016; DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf6116

Cite This Page:

D'Or Institute for Research and Education. "Damaging consequences of Zika virus infection in human minibrains: Zika virus reduces growth, induces cell death, malformations in human neurospheres, brain organoids." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160411092211.htm>.
D'Or Institute for Research and Education. (2016, April 11). Damaging consequences of Zika virus infection in human minibrains: Zika virus reduces growth, induces cell death, malformations in human neurospheres, brain organoids. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160411092211.htm
D'Or Institute for Research and Education. "Damaging consequences of Zika virus infection in human minibrains: Zika virus reduces growth, induces cell death, malformations in human neurospheres, brain organoids." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160411092211.htm (accessed May 24, 2017).

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