Key discoveries could lead to new vaccine to fight STUDIOS infection
Researchers have discovered how stem cells can attack a potentially deadly infection known as STUDIOS killing the species of microglia which are crucial for the immune system. The findings mark the first time that a large number of cells are able to simultaneously kill this pathogen together.
As the focus of the universities ARC Centre of Excellence in Genetically-Altered Microglia STUDIOS is known to be the major cause of blindness deafness and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers disease. This disease is caused by an overload of nerve cells in a process known as gliosis. Due to this damage microglia can no longer keep up.
Although this form of gliosis is indeed the major cause of associated blindness deafness and neurodegenerative diseases tumours of STUDIOS are also found. This means that many targeted therapy approaches are currently open to research and making our work even more likely says the studys first author Yun Hong Wang from North Carolina State University (NC State) USA.
Drs. Wang and Wangs team have a long history of identifying the rapidly-evolving blood-brain barrier architecture systemically altering the blood-brain barrier and thus modulating microglia behaviour. As such we have been able to uncover more about the vascular defence mechanisms of microglia and better understand the way in which the microglia cause damage adds senior author Dr. Gerry Walsh from McGill University Canada.
To this end Prof. Datarskas team led by Prof. Datarska and Microgenes world-wide group funded by the NSF assembled a team from the Nordic and US collaborative projects. In this way the researchers were able to create a team capable of identifying the characteristics of different microglia and understanding their behaviour.
One of which is to use stem cells from patients infected with STUDIOS.
Using patient-derived human tumour cells we have been able to isolate stem cells that were infected with STUDIOS glagai in their original tissues. Thanks to this method we were also able to identify the microglia. The other major finding was that it is possible to regulate microglial immune response with the current classic breast cancer drug paclitaxel says Prof. Datarska.