Technology Inceptions: Powerful Robots Helps in Faster Detection of Bridge Defects  |  Teacher Insights: Are you susceptible to persuasion?   |  Science Innovations: Mushrooms to help fight TB  |  Management lessons: How to Create Cool Brands and Stay Cool  |  Health Monitor: Honey Helps Increase Testosterone Levels in Males  |  Parent Interventions: Women Oncologists Skip Scientific Conference to Take Care of Children  |  Career News: Chinmaya University-CPPR Announce MA in Public Policy and Governance Course  |  Parent Interventions: Electrical zap to retrieve memory  |  Science Innovations: Laura Kreidberg: Trying to Spot the First Sign of Life Outside Earth  |  Parent Interventions: Don't Let Children Drink Too Much Juice, Sugar Water With Little Nutrients  |  Technology Inceptions: Low-Cost Tissue Freezing Device to Help In Breast Cancer Treatment  |  Science Innovations: Exomoons May Become Quasi-planets  |  Science Innovations: Blue Tongue Lizard Babies As Clever as Adults  |  Parent Interventions: Quality Sleep for Teen Health   |  Technology Inceptions: MIT Develops Artificial 'Muscles' Based on Fibers  |  
  • Pallikkutam Magazine
  • Companion Magazine
  • Mentor
  • Smart Board
  • Pallikkutam Publications

October 28, 2017 Saturday 05:16:44 PM IST

How Zika virus infects developing brain

Health Monitor

New York : Researchers have found that the Zika virus is transmitted from mother to a foetus by infected cells that will later go on to develop into the brain's first and primary form of defence against the invasive pathogens.

"It's a Trojan Horse strategy. During embryogenesis -- the early stages of prenatal development -- cells called microglia form in the yolk sac and then disperse throughout the central nervous system of the developing child," said Alysson Muotri, professor at the University of California - San Diego.

In the brain, these microglia will become resident macrophages whose job is to constantly clear away plaques, damaged cells and infectious agents. However, considering the timing of transmission, the researchers hypothesised that microglia might be serving as a Trojan horse to transport the virus during invasion of the central nervous system.

"Our findings show that the Zika virus can infect these early microglia, sneaking into the brain where they transmit the virus to other brain cells, resulting in the devastating neurological damage we see in some newborns," Muotri added.


For the study, published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics, the team used human induced pluripotent stem cells to create two relevant central nervous system cell types: microglia and neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and examined their interactions in vitro when exposed to the Zika virus.

The researchers found that the microglia cells engulfed Zika-infected NPCs, doing their job. But when these microglia carrying the virus were placed in contact with non-infected NPCs, they transmitted the virus to the latter. 

"That suggests microglia may indeed be the culprit for transmitting the virus to the central nervous system during prenatal neurodevelopment," Muotri noted. The researchers suggests that microglial cells could be a therapeutic target for reducing Zika transmission into the central nervous system of developing foetuses.


Comments