From the Journals: Virus Associated with Developmental Delays and Deafness Primitive human stem cells are resistant to human cytomegalovirus, one of the leading prenatal causes of intellectual disability, deafness and deformities worldwide, according to a study published online in November 2012 in PLOS ONE. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that as stem cells and other ... From the Journals
From the Journals  |   February 01, 2013
From the Journals: Virus Associated with Developmental Delays and Deafness
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Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / From the Journals
From the Journals   |   February 01, 2013
From the Journals: Virus Associated with Developmental Delays and Deafness
The ASHA Leader, February 2013, Vol. 18, 34-35. doi:10.1044/leader.FTJ6.18022013.34
The ASHA Leader, February 2013, Vol. 18, 34-35. doi:10.1044/leader.FTJ6.18022013.34
Primitive human stem cells are resistant to human cytomegalovirus, one of the leading prenatal causes of intellectual disability, deafness and deformities worldwide, according to a study published online in November 2012 in PLOS ONE.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that as stem cells and other primitive cells mature into neurons, they become more susceptible to CMV, a finding that could allow them to find effective treatments for the virus and to prevent its potentially devastating consequences. The study authors derived live human-induced pluripotent stem cells by reprogramming cells called fibroblasts from human skin biopsies. They induced the stem cells to mature through several stages into neurons—the primary cells in the brain—and evaluated the patterns of damage caused by CMV on all these cells.
Findings indicate that human-induced pluripotent stem cells do not permit a full viral replication cycle, suggesting for the first time that these cells can resist CMV infection. Further, CMV infection distorts stem cells' differentiation into neurons, a mechanism by which infected babies may develop impairments of brain maturation and intellectual ability.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of every 150 children is born with CMV infection, and one in five of them develops permanent problems, such as intellectual disability, vision and hearing loss, and seizures. Researchers are collaborating with the Drug Discovery Institute to further understand the cellular system and determine which agents are most effective against HCMV and similar viruses, and which treatments would be safe for human use.
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February 2013
Volume 18, Issue 2