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Study Finds XMRV Retrovirus Can Infect Brain Cells

Posted Oct 01 2011 12:00am

Brain colors By Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

As a good portion of the medical and media world  is furiously attempting to bury the XMRV story a few intrepid researchers appear not to have gotten the memo.

Scientists from the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services are busily trying to figure out how this retrovirus may be involved in conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome/ME.  (I have written before of how my daughter with autism, my wife, and my mother-in-law have all tested positive for this retrovirus.)  You can read my previous article HERE.

In an article entitled "Susceptibility of Human Primary Neuronal Cells to Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-related (XMRV) Virus Infection," and published in the Journal of Virology, September 20, 2011   HERE the authors tried to answer the question of whether XMRV could be responsible for inflammation in the brain.

From the findings section the authors wrote, "XMRV has been associated with prostate cancer and CFS.  Although CFS patients show many symptoms for inflammation in brain, there is no report about the presence of XMRV in the brain of CFS patients.  In an effort to determine the susceptibility of neuronal cells to XMRV in-vitro, we used human primary Progenitors, Progenitor Derived Neurons (PDN), and Progenitor Derived Astrocytes (PDA)."

- CFS patients show evidence of brain inflammation (just like kids with autism), but nobody's looked to see if it might be due to XMRV.  We wondered if brain cells were susceptible to infection by XMRV.

In order to answer the question of how XMRV could cross the blood-brain barrier the authors noted, "T-cell traffic into the central nervous system is thought to occur when activated T-cells cross the blood-brain barrier.  The T-cells presumably act as a "Trojan horse" to store and transport infectious materials across the blood-brain barrier.  This "Trojan horse" hypothesis has been well established in the pathogenesis of many viruses that infect the central nervous system.  Based on the assumption that XMRV infected lymphocytes could infiltrate and infect the neuronal cells, we conducted an in-vitro coinfection/co-culture study using XMRV-infected Jurkat cells with neuronal cells."

- Like other viruses that invade the central nervous system, XMRV might hop a ride in a T-cell, which does cross the blood-brain barrier.  (Author's note - And we also know that toxins like pesticides and heavy metals can affect the permeability of the blood-brain barrier.)

The authors stated that as a result of their experiments, "We observed that even the small amount of XMRV in the XMRV-infected Jurkats could release virus and infect the neuronal cells (results not shown).  Interestingly, in the cultures/co-infection study, we co-culture the XMRV-infected Jurkats with neuronal cells only for four hours.  The released virus during this time was able to infect the bystander neuronal cells.  These observations support the possibility that the infiltrated XMRV-infected T-cells could infect neuronal cells."

- HOLY S---!  Even with only a small amount of XMRV virus in the T-cells, it took them only four hours to infect the bystander neuronal cells.

While this experiment was performed in a lab, the authors also referenced a previous study in which  rhesus macaques were deliberately infected with the XMRV retrovirus.  "In a recent animal study, XMRV was administered to rhesus macaques through intravenous innoculation.  Interestingly, 291 days post infection, infected cells were detectable by fluoresence in situ hybridization (FISH) in brain, showing the possibility of XMRV infection in brain.  This study further substantiates our speculation that XMRV could infect brain cells.  Further in-vitro and in-vivo studies are warranted to identify and characterize the XMRV, and its role, if any, in brain cells."

- Nearly ten months after rhesus macaques were infected with XMRV evidence was found of the virus in their brains.  Once again, HOLY S---!

While I was writing this article I did a quick Google search for news articles on the partial Science retraction (Author's note - UCSF basically messed up the genetic sequence of the VP62 clone, which provides a possible explanation for why those groups who used it were unable to find the retrovirus.  Other groups, like the Whittemore-Peterson Institute, Cleveland Clinic, and National Cancer Institute, as well as the Lo-Alter study which used probes to identify a wider family of human gamma-retroviruses than just VP62, were able to find it.) versus this study by the FDA, NIH and Health and Human Services.

There were 285 news articles identified on Google for the partial Science retraction.  For this research showing that XMRV can infect brain cells there were 0 news articles.

Does it strike anybody else that the coverage of XMRV isn't quite "fair and balanced?"

Kent Heckenlively is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism 

Posted by Age of Autism at October 03, 2011 at 5:46 AM in Current Affairs , Kent Heckenlively Permalink

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