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Cell wall of pneumonia bacteria can cause brain and heart damage

that blocks PAF before we administer antibiotics," Tuomanen said. "This might protect the heart from the build-up of cell wall fragments released from bacteria killed by the antibiotic."

Tuomanen's team has also developed evidence that explains how the S. pneumoniae cell wall binds to PAFr on the surface of endothelial cells, neurons and cardiomyocytes and triggers a cascade of biochemical signals called the PAFr-beta-arrestin 1 pathway. The St. Jude researchers reported that this pathway is responsible for bacterial uptake into these cells. Furthermore, the researchers succeeded in blocking a key enzyme of this pathway in cardiomyoctyes using a molecule called PLC inhibitor U73122. The treatment prevented the cell from taking up the fragments but did not appear to interfere with the cell's normal functions. This suggests that a drug that blocks the pathway responsible for pulling cell fragments into the cell might not have serious side effects on the cell.
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Source:St. Jude Children's Research Hospital


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