Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Lipid Blocks Influenza Infection

A natural lipid in the fluid lining the lungs inhibits influenza infections in both cell cultures and mouse models, according to researchers at National Jewish Health. These findings, combined with previous studies demonstrating effectiveness against respiratory syncytial virus, suggest that the molecule, known as POPG, may have broad antiviral activity.

“Supplemental POPG could be an important, inexpensive and novel approach for the prevention and treatment of influenza and other respiratory virus infections,” said Dennis Voelker, PhD, Professor of Medicine, and senior author in the report, published online in the American journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.

Influenza infects millions of people across the globe, killing 500,000 each year. Vaccines are highly effective, but must be reformulated each year to counter new viral strains. Two classes of drug are currently available to treat established influenza infections, although widespread resistance has developed against one class and is developing against the other.

Several proteins that inhibit viral activity have been identified in the fluid lining the lungs. Until recently, however, the antiviral role of POPG (palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidylglycerol) has been unknown. Previous research by Dr. Voelker, Mari Numata, MD, PhD, and their colleagues demonstrated that POPG reduces inflammation in the lung and prevents infection by respiratory syncytial virus.

In the most recent study, the researchers looked at the ability of POPG to inhibit infection by two strains of influenza, H1N1-PR8 and H3N2. They found that POPG suppressed inflammatory responses, viral propagation and cell death normally associated with influenza infection.

In mice, POPG also suppressed viral infection and replication, and markedly reduced the inflammatory response to the virus. There were no observable deleterious effects of POPG in animal behavior or histopathology.

“Lipids such as POPG, offer potential advantages over antiviral proteins, because they are less likely to elicit unwanted immune responses, are more chemically stable and less expensive to manufacture than proteins,” said Dr. Numata, an instructor at National Jewish Health, and lead author on both the RSV and influenza papers. “Because POPG is effective against at least two different viruses, it also seems likely that a single mutation, which can make influenza vaccines and current drugs ineffective, is unlikely to have the same effect on POPG’s action.”

The researchers showed that POPG works by binding strongly to viral particles, which prevents attachment and infection of cells. This means that POPG works best if given before an infection occurs.

It has potential, however, to work after an infection has begun by inhibiting spread of the virus to uninfected cells. The success of POPG treatment after a virus infection has been established depends on keeping the lipid levels high for an extended period. At present it is difficult to maintain high levels of POPG in mice because of their rapid metabolisms and rapid respiratory rate.

“We believe POPG may prove effective both before and after an infection has occurred,” said Dr. Voelker. “Our initial results suggest that it may be possible to maintain therapeutic levels in the body with a reasonable dosing scheme, and we are investigating that now.”

William Allstetter | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Steering a fusion plasma toward stability

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Bioluminescent sensor causes brain cells to glow in the dark

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Activation of 2 genes linked to development of atherosclerosis

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>