Study: Epstein Barr virus protects against autoimmune disease
To the surprise of investigating researchers, an animal model of Epstein Barr virus protected lupus-prone mice against development of the autoimmune disease. Earlier work had suggested that EBV might promote the development of autoimmunity.
"We were completely surprised. So, we redid the experiments, and the results came out the same," said Dr. Pelanda, lead author on the paper appearing online in the Proceesing of the National Academy of Sciences. "We believe these findings could lead to therapeutic targets for lupus and other autoimmune diseases."
Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infects most people in the United States by the time they are adults. It causes mononucleosis in about 35 to 50 percent of those infected. Acute symptoms usually pass within weeks, after which the virus goes into a dormant state within the body. The infection persists for a person's entire life and can activate in some cases.
EBV does not infect mice, but a related virus, gammahervesvirus 68, does and has a similar pattern of infection and symptoms. So Dr. Pelanda and her colleagues infected a mouse model of lupus with the virus. One hundred percent of the lupus model mice develop lupus by about one year of age.
In those mice infected with the gammaherpesvirus 68, however, antibodies associated with lupus did not increase, and actually decreased significantly in female mice. In kidneys, a major site of tissue damage in lupus, viral infection reduced tissue damage from 80 percent to 20 percent. Other measures of lupus, including activation of lymphocytes and dendritic cells, were also reduced in lupus-prone mice infected with the gammaherpesvirus 68.
"The virus inhibits the development and progression of lupus on many levels, from cellular to humoral and organ," said Dr. Pelanda. "For that reason, we believe it is affecting a basic mechanisms of autoimmunity."
The researchers do not know how the gammaherpesvirus inhibits lupus, but have begun a systematic series of experiments to evaluate several potential mechanisms.
More information: Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 infection protects lupus-prone mice from the development of autoimmunity, by Jennifer D. Larson et al. PNAS, 2012.
Provided by National Jewish Health
- Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus Feb 16, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Blocked signals to immune cells extend their life and contribute to progression of lupus Feb 14, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Research suggests targeted treatment strategies for lupus Nov 11, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- NIH scientists outline steps toward Epstein-Barr virus vaccine Nov 02, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- First lupus breakthrough in 50 years Apr 28, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
The Durability of Bone: Long Falls
7 hours ago I am doing a paper on the physics in Valve's Portal and got interested in the "Long Fall Boots" that prevent any damage no matter how far you fall. I...
Is energy convertible to matter?
8 hours ago Can we convert energy to matter?
Rotating electron as a dipole is this right?
11 hours ago An electron as shown by the Stern Gerlach experiment behaves like a dipole (albeit only in one of two states). I have been trying to figure out how...
Dipole term in multipole expansion
15 hours ago Hi. I'm having some difficult in understanding something about the dipole term in a multipole expansion. Griffiths writes the expansion as a sum of...
Bubbles in a Pre-Boiling/Boiling pot of water
16 hours ago How is it that bubbles form on the bottom of a surface of a pot of boiling water? I think that there is probably an elementary answer to this...
Assumptions of Griffith's fracture theory
May 21, 2013 Any experts on Griffith's fracture theory? I am studying the subject and I am having hard time finding out if the theory is valid for all possible...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
(Medical Xpress)—A research team, led by Jeremy Barr, a biology post-doctoral fellow, unveils a new immune system that protects humans and animals from infection.
Immunology May 20, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (22) | 8 |
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at King's College London have discovered that Vitamin D has the potential to significantly reduce the symptoms of asthma. The study, led by Professor Catherine Hawrylowicz from ...
Immunology May 20, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Melbourne researchers have identified an immune protein that has the potential to stop or reverse the development of type 1 diabetes in its early stages, before insulin-producing cells have been destroyed.
Immunology May 20, 2013 | 5 / 5 (5) | 0 |
Raising hopes for cell-based therapies, UC San Francisco researchers have created the first functioning human thymus tissue from embryonic stem cells in the laboratory. The researchers showed that, in mice, ...
Immunology May 16, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (5) | 0 |
Researchers from CNRS, Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier and IRD have elucidated new molecular mechanisms involved in resistance to visceral leishmaniasis, a serious parasitic infection. They have shown that dectin-1 ...
Immunology May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Phthalates: Study links chemicals widely found in plastics, processed food to elevated blood pressure in children, teens
Plastic additives known as phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are odorless, colorless and just about everywhere: They turn up in flooring, plastic cups, beach balls, plastic wrap, intravenous tubing and—according to the ...
50 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
17 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
15 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (13) | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
17 hours ago | 4.6 / 5 (7) | 0 |
An experimental sleeping pill from US drug company Merck is effective at helping people fall and stay asleep, according to reviewers at the US Food and Drug Administration, which could soon approve the new drug.
11 hours ago | 4 / 5 (4) | 0
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0 |