- the Zika virus has been associated with congenital malformations such as microcephaly.
- A new study, published in Cell Stem Cell , identifies a mechanism for stroke that can be explained with a footballing metaphor.
catenaccio Italian is characterized by a purely defensive football. Players are enclosed behind to form an “impregnable barrier” around the goal. The opposing team practically impossible for a strike, as demonstrated by the success of Inter Milan led by Helenio Herrera
Something similar happens in our brain . The so-called blood-brain barrier uses Italian catenaccio tactics to shield access to our “mental goalkeeper”. That is, a set of endothelial and glial cells try to form an “impregnable wall” to stop the attack of harmful substances and pathogenic microorganisms brain. How can then the virus zika be related to so damaging and shocking effects such as microcephaly?
Reaching the goal and put goal
Although research has not yet managed to determine the mechanism by which the virus circumvents the blood brain barrier, the fact is that the zika has been associated with malformations birth in newborns. Malformations that, as in the case of microcefalias , cause a reduction in the size of the head of the babies.
The virus must dribble past the blood brain barrier that protects the brain, as in the Italian catenaccio in addition, the virus has also been linked with a major neurological disorder, known as Guillain-Barré syndrome . Why cause such damage to our brain, if supposedly is in an inaccessible fortress? The answer we find, again, in a footballing metaphor.
Once the virus dribbles past the defense formed by the blood-brain barrier, left alone before the goalkeeper. And until the best soccer players have vulnerabilities . Casillas has problems handling the ball with feet. Cech does not usually pass the ball well. Molina always left much of the area and received goals for that reason. Hart sometimes makes “sung” which typically cost you points. These failures show that, for good athletes they are, are also human. It will be up to the front or, following our metaphor, the Zika virus, exploit that weakness to score a goal.
A paradigmatic example of this vulnerability is Júlio César . This goalkeeper, natural Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), precisely the country most affected by zika is a great player. His problem is that sometimes commits blunders, such as going hand changed, that cost his team a goal. The most obvious example is found in the 2010, in the an error sent the Brazilian team home after the victory of the Netherlands. But with Inter Milan also been sometimes
The microcephaly has been associated with other infections, not only viral, such as those caused by cytomegalovirus, rubella , syphilis or HIV the Zika virus, as the front of the opposing team should take advantage of the vulnerability of the brain to score a goal. As a player is aware that Júlio César, however good, also makes mistakes, viruses “know” that if they use the weakness of nerve cells, will be able to infect. And not occur only with the zika. As explained microbiologist Ignacio Lopez Goñi to Hipertextual , microcephaly has also only been associated with other viral infections-not -. , such as those caused by cytomegalovirus, rubella, syphilis or HIV
a study published today in the journal Cell Stem Cell , first identify what might be the vulnerability the neural stem cells to infection by zika. Researchers at the University of California (San Francisco) suggest that the virus, once dribbles past the blood brain barrier to the brain in developing embryos through the cerebrospinal fluid or blood.
His hypothesis is that the virus mainly affects a very specific type of cells: radial glial cell . These cells are part of the cerebral cortex and subsequently give rise to neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, i.e., the range of cells that are part of the central nervous system. Scientists say that by destroying these cells, the virus later cause birth defects have been associated with zika. But why choose these cells?
If the virus “knows” the vulnerability of the goalkeeper brain, will be able to destroy the cells to cause birth defects in newborns the reason, according to their results, is that the virus-just the front- takes advantage of the vulnerability of the goalkeeper. In other words, it binds to these cells by binding to a molecule known as AXL . That is, if a player knows that Júlio César goes wrong hand changed, will try to convince him to go outside the area to score a goal.
The virus binds to the cell receptor, because being fixed he will be able to destroy these cells which would subsequently lead to the cerebral cortex . If removed, newborns suffer serious problems such as congenital malformations have been observed. In other words, the virus that usually causes mild symptoms , is able to put goal experiencing problems as the malformations observed in Brazil or Colombia. All this, after having haggled the blood brain barrier and taking advantage of the weakness of the goalkeeper.
March 30, 2016
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