"Infection during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of damage to the developing nervous system. Given that many agents have been implicated, we decided to focus on mechanisms by which the maternal immune response, rather than direct infection of the fetus, might contribute to behavioral disturbances in the offspring of mothers who suffer infection during pregnancy," says W. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University, senior author on the study.
To better understand how the immune response causes these neurological changes, the researchers exposed pregnant mice to a synthetic molecular mimic of a replicating virus. Offspring of the exposed mice had impaired locomotor activity compared to controls. Further testing determined that the exposure inhibited embryonic neuronal stem cell replication, affecting brain development.
They also looked at the potential role of an immune protein known as Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) which is commonly activated in viral infections. Using TLR3-deficient mice they determined that the effects of exposure were dependent on TLR3. They also investigated whether the drug carprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, would have any effect. Pretreatment with the drug abrogated the effects of exposure.
"Our findings provide insights into mechanisms by which maternal infection may induce subtle changes in brain and behavior and suggest strategies for reducing the risk of neuropsychiatric diseases following exposures to infectious agents and other triggers of innate immunity during gestation," says Lipkin.
mBio® is a new open access online journal published by the American Society for Microbiology to make microbiology research broadly accessible. The focus of the journal is on rapid publication of cutting-edge research spanning the entire spectrum of microbiology and related fields. It can be found online at http://mbio.asm.org.
Jim Sliwa | EurekAlert!
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21.11.2017 | Allen Institute
Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development
21.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Silicatforschung ISC
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
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