Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Herpes virus exploits immune response to bolster infection

07.06.2013
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and colleagues report that the herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1), which affects an estimated 50 to 80 percent of all American adults, exploits an immune system receptor to boost its infectivity and ability to cause disease.

The findings are published in the June 6, 2013 issue of Nature Communications.

HSV-1 is a persistent and problematic pathogen. Typically, it infects victims through oral secretions (kissing, sharing a contaminated toothbrush) or through openings in the skin. In healthy people, the result may be cold sores or fever blisters. In people with compromised immune systems, HSV-1 can pose more serious and chronic health problems.

It can spread, for example, to organs like the brain, lungs and liver, where the infection may become life-threatening. Some patients, such as those with atopic dermatitis – a common form of eczema that accounts for roughly 20 percent of all dermatologic referrals, are especially vulnerable to serious complications stemming from an HSV-1 infection.

Led by principal investigator Richard L. Gallo, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and chief of UC San Diego's Division of Dermatology, the scientists found that HSV-1 launches an infection by binding to receptors on the surface of skin cells. Ordinarily, if a cell recognizes the virus as an invader, an immune response is immediately triggered, which includes a group of proteins called scavenger receptors that help identify and remove harmful viruses.

But sometimes the process goes awry. While studying HSV-1 and scavenger receptors in cultured human skin cells, Gallo and colleagues in the Atopic Dermatitis Research Network, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discovered that the virus strongly interacts with a particular receptor called a macrophage receptor with collagenous structure or MARCO, which it uses to gain entry into cells.

In tests comparing mice expressing normal levels of MARCO with mice genetically engineered to lack the receptor, the scientists found that MARCO enhanced the virus' ability to infect cells. Mice lacking the receptor suffered dramatically smaller skin lesions than normal mice with normal levels of MARCO. In a different experiment, the application of chemicals that prevented the virus from binding to MARCO resulted in much-smaller lesions on normal mice.

Gallo said the findings were surprising. "We would have predicted that MARCO would help resist infection," he said, noting it was the first evidence that a scavenger receptor, part of the body's defense system against viral invaders, might actually aid and abet HSV-1 infection.

The research suggests that development of new therapies preventing HSV-1-MARCO interaction may measurably reduce the degree and risk of serious HSV-1-related complications in atopic dermatitis patients and others. The scientists plan to follow up with testing in atopic dermatitis patients, and investigate whether other skin viruses also use the same infection pathway.

Co-authors are Daniel T. MacLeod and Kenshi Yamasaki, Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, UCSD; Teruaki Nakatsuji, Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, UCSD and Veterans Affairs San Diego Health Care System; and Lester Kobzik, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health

Funding for this research came, in part, from The Atopic Dermatitis Research Network (grant HHSN272201000020C) and National Institutes of Health grants T32 AR062496, R01 A1052453, R01 Ai0833358 and R01 ES110008.

Scott LaFee | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>