Perspective Maternal TH17 cells take a toll on baby's brain

The possibility that microcephaly is caused by Zika virus has made recent alarming headlines. Although few people had previously heard of an association between infection during pregnancy and changes in brain development, epidemiologists have known about this connection for many years. Moreover, mounting evidence suggests that maternal immune activation (MIA) alone is sufficient to alter brain development and may be causally linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (1–3). How could the maternal immune system, which normally serves to protect mother and child from environmental insults, cause changes in brain development? On page 933 of this issue, Choi et al. (4) uncover an important component of this immune pathway: a critical signal from a special class of cells in the mother's immune system, called T helper 17 (TH17) cells, that alters brain development in her fetal offspring (see the figure). These findings have exciting implications for the development of new treatments to prevent ASD caused by maternal infection. Authors: Myka L. Estes, A. Kimberley McAllister
Source: ScienceNOW - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Immunology Source Type: news

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Source: OnMedica Latest News - Category: UK Health Source Type: news
Clusters of living brain cells are teaching scientists about diseases like autism. With a new finding, some experts wonder if these organoids may become too much like the real thing.
Source: NYT Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: your-feed-science Brain Zika Virus Laboratories and Scientific Equipment Stem Cells Pregnancy and Childbirth Biology and Biochemistry Autism International Space Station Biotechnology and Bioengineering Cell (Journal) University of Ca Source Type: news
Performing ultrasound scans late in pregnancy helps women avoid undiagnosed...Read more on AuntMinnie.comRelated Reading: US body fat measure predicts obstetric complications Study explores link between prenatal ultrasound and autism Repeat fetal ultrasound screenings may be unnecessary Virtual reality takes prenatal imaging to new heights Ultrasound misses signs of early Zika infection
Source: Headlines - Category: Radiology Source Type: news
rke K Abstract The Zika virus (ZIKV) became a major worldwide public concern in 2015 due to the congenital syndrome which presents the highest risk during the first trimester of pregnancy and includes microcephaly and eye malformations. Several cellular, genetic and molecular studies have shown alterations in metabolic pathways, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, immunity and dysregulation of RNA and energy metabolism both in vivo and in vitro. Here we summarise the main metabolic complications, with a particular focus on the possibility that brain energy metabolism is altered following ZIKV infection, c...
Source: Journal of Anatomy - Category: Anatomy Authors: Tags: J Anat Source Type: research
The recent outbreak of the Zika virus (ZIKV) and the discovery that perinatal Zika exposure can lead to the Congenital Zika Syndrome has promoted a call for prevention measures. Due to the increased number of babies born with microcephaly, structural brain abnormalities, and neurological alterations in regions affected by ZIKV, investigations were carried out in order to better understand this process. The maternal immune system directly influences the fetal central nervous system, and complications during pregnancy have been associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a neurodevelopmental...
Source: Neuroimmunomodulation - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: research
Conclusion: Going beyond the powerful scientific and economic arguments for urgent action to reduce the burning of fossil fuels is the strong moral imperative to protect our most vulnerable populations. Citation: Perera FP. 2017. Multiple threats to child health from fossil fuel combustion: impacts of air pollution and climate change. Environ Health Perspect 125:141–148; Address correspondence to F.P. Perera, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, 722 West 168th St. ...
Source: EHP Research - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Commentaries Children's Health February 2017 Source Type: research
Science today is regularly distorted to serve other ends. The religious right, for instance, claims that "creationism" should be taught in public schools as a scientific alternative to the theory of evolution. The environmentalist left, for instance, claims that science reveals genetically modified foods to be harmful to one's health. Both groups subordinate the facts of science to other considerations, whether Biblical or ideological. The same dishonesty is shaping the response to the Zika virus. The Zika threat is causing great concern at the Rio Olympics, with some athletes having chosen to avoid the Games ...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news
Conclusion This experimental study in mice investigated the effect of Zika virus on adult brain cells, hoping to increase knowledge of the long-term outcomes of Zika virus on the adult brain. Zika was thought to be a short-term virus for adult humans without many long-term effects. The researchers' experiments in mice found that the two small areas in the adult mouse brain containing cells active in cell division can be susceptible to pronounced Zika infection leading to cell death and reduced cell division. While healthy humans may be able to mount an effective immune response to the virus, it is possible that immunocompr...
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Source Type: news
While it may not be the most widespread Zika conspiracy theory on the internet, it's certainly among the weirdest.  The fact-checking website Snopes revealed last Wednesday that at least a few people falsely believe Americans are immune to Zika virus, as these tweets demonstrate: @SpeakerRyan @WashTimes Say NO to more Obama requested FAKE #Zika virus funding. American immune systems are immune to it. Virus isn't new— Chad (@FlyOSUBuckeye1) May 22, 2016 @ABC dont spread propaganda about a non-existent threat to Americans Fake Zika war is a terrorist tactice— Barbara Adams (@SheSellsBoise) Ma...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news
The Zika virus, which is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is strongly suspected to be linked to a new wave of microcephaly cases in Brazil. Babies born with the birth defect have smaller heads and sometimes brains that aren't fully developed, which can result in life-long developmental problems.    Zika is currently spreading through Central and South America and the Caribbean, and with the high volume of news about the virus, it's tough to stay up-to-date. Check out our full coverage, or read our daily recaps. Here are seven updates, opinions and developments to know about now:   1. Conf...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
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