澳门新葡京线上注册 www.lantianting.com The findings may help explain why Zika infection during pregnancy can lead to babies with smaller-than-normal heads brains, a birth defect called microcephaly.
In laboratory experiments, the Stanford University researchers discovered that cranial neural crest cells are vulnerable to Zika. These cells form the majority of bone cartilage of the head communicate with the developing brain.
"Our in vitro studies raise an intriguing possibility that the Zika virus can infect human cranial neural crest cells in the developing embryo, which in turn could influence brain development," said co-senior author Joanna Wysocka, a chemical systems biologist at Stanford.
Neural crest cell formation occurs during the first trimester, "which intriguingly has been correlated with poor birth outcomes in Zika-infected mothers," she said in a Stanford news release.
The study was published Sept. 29 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.
Although the findings offer leads for future research, the study doesn't provide direct proof that Zika infects cranial neural crest cells in animals or humans. Nor does it offer evidence that such infection would be sufficient to result in microcephaly, the researchers emphasized.
SOURCE: Stanford University School of Medicine, news release, Sept. 29, 2016