This discovery was made by researchers at the University of Campinas's School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (FCF-UNICAMP) in São Paulo State, Brazil.
"Zika virus, which has become a threat to health in the Americas, could be genetically modified to destroy glioblastoma cells," said Rodrigo Ramos Catharino, a professor at FCF-UNICAMP and head of the institution's Innovare Biomarker Laboratory.
Mass - Spectrometry - Analysis - Zika - Glioblastoma
Through the mass spectrometry analysis of Zika virus-infected glioblastoma cells, scientists also identified the presence of digoxin, a molecule which induced the death of tumoral cells of skin and breast cancer in previous experiments.
Resulting from a Thematic Project supported by the Sao Paulo Research Foundation -- FAPESP , the study is described in an article posted to bioRxiv, a preprint repository for the biological sciences, and accepted for publication by Journal of Mass Spectrometry.
Research - Brazil - Points - Mortality - Rates
Previous research conducted recently in Brazil and elsewhere points to increased mortality rates for human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) infected by Zika virus, as well as growth inhibition and morphological abnormalities.
Alterations in these cells, which are precursors of brain cells and become cortical neurons in embryos and fetuses, may be a cause of microcephaly in babies whose mothers have been infected by Zika. Other studies have shown that the virus is capable of moving into brain cells, modifying the regulation of the cell cycle, and inducing their death.
Light - Findings - Researchers - FCF-UNICAMP - Effects
In light of these findings, the researchers at FCF-UNICAMP set out to investigate the effects of Zika virus when it infects glioblastoma cells. To do this, they infected human malignant glioblastoma cells with Zika and recorded microscope images of them 24 hours and 48 hours after infection in order to observe any metabolic alterations (cytopathic effects) caused by inoculation of the virus.
The results of the analysis showed that the glioblastoma cells displayed moderate cytopathic effects 24 hours after infection, such as rounded, swollen cell bodies...
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