Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists create humanized mouse model for hepatitis C

09.06.2011
Scientists at Rockefeller University and The Scripps Research Institute have developed the first genetically humanized mouse model for hepatitis C, an achievement that will enable researchers to test molecules that block entry of the hepatitis C virus into cells as well as potential vaccine candidates. The finding is reported in the June 9 issue of the journal Nature.

While the hepatitis C virus can infect chimpanzees and humans, scientists have been unable to study the progression of the virus' life cycle or possible treatments in small animal models. The new mouse model is the first to be developed with a fully functioning immune system.

"Our genetically humanized mouse model for hepatitis C will allow us to gain deeper insights in the biology of this important pathogen," says senior author Alexander Ploss, a research assistant professor at Rockefeller. "This robust small animal model also has the potential to serve a critical role in testing and prioritizing drug and vaccine candidates. Results from these tests can potentially guide more expensive pre-clinical and clinical studies in higher order organisms, including humans."

The development of this mouse model is the culmination of several years of research by scientists in the laboratory of Charles M. Rice and other research groups. In 2006, Rice and his colleagues were the first to successfully create a strain of hepatitis C in the laboratory, which can efficiently be grown in the laboratory, and is also infectious in animals. More recently, Rice, Ploss and their colleagues discovered that hepatitis C virus infection requires previously identified CD81 and scavenger receptor type B class I, as well as two tight junction molecules, claudin 1 and occludin. The Rockefeller researchers showed that human CD81 and occludin were required for hepatitis C virus to enter mouse cells.

In the new study, the Rockefeller researchers and colleagues at The Scripps Research Institute tested whether introducing some of these previously identified human genes into mice would allow them to infect the animals with the hepatitis C virus. The researchers compared two groups of mice: one group expressed two genes, CD81 and occludin, while mice in the second group were normal. They found that expression of human CD81 and human occludin in the mouse liver rendered the animals susceptible to HCV infection. Ploss and his colleagues also developed a novel reporter system, which allowed them to sensitively detect HCV infection in living animals.

"We have established a precedent for applying mouse genetics to dissect viral entry and validate the role of scavenger receptor type B class 1, a molecule that is being considered as a novel antiviral drug target, for HCV uptake in a living animal," says Charles M. Rice, Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Professor and head of the Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease at Rockefeller. Rice also is executive and scientific director of the Center for the Study of Hepatitis C, an interdisciplinary center established jointly by The Rockefeller University, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Worldwide at least 130 million people are chronically infected with HCV, which poses a risk of severe liver injury and liver cancer. Current treatments are only partially effective and have considerable side effects, and a vaccine against hepatitis C does not exist.

"The global HCV epidemic mandates the development of more effective therapeutics including a vaccine," says Ploss. "This mouse model is a first step toward a platform that effectively serves this purpose."

This research was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health.

Joseph Bonner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rockefeller.edu

Further reports about: CD81 HCV HCV infection Rockefeller hepatitis C virus mouse model scavenger receptor

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences

nachricht Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>