Navigation Links
Scientists create humanized mouse model for hepatitis C

Scientists at Rockefeller University and The Scripps Research Institute have developed the first genetically humanized mouse model for hepatitis C, an achievement that will enable researchers to test molecules that block entry of the hepatitis C virus into cells as well as potential vaccine candidates. The finding is reported in the June 9 issue of the journal Nature.

While the hepatitis C virus can infect chimpanzees and humans, scientists have been unable to study the progression of the virus' life cycle or possible treatments in small animal models. The new mouse model is the first to be developed with a fully functioning immune system.

"Our genetically humanized mouse model for hepatitis C will allow us to gain deeper insights in the biology of this important pathogen," says senior author Alexander Ploss, a research assistant professor at Rockefeller. "This robust small animal model also has the potential to serve a critical role in testing and prioritizing drug and vaccine candidates. Results from these tests can potentially guide more expensive pre-clinical and clinical studies in higher order organisms, including humans."

The development of this mouse model is the culmination of several years of research by scientists in the laboratory of Charles M. Rice and other research groups. In 2006, Rice and his colleagues were the first to successfully create a strain of hepatitis C in the laboratory, which can efficiently be grown in the laboratory, and is also infectious in animals. More recently, Rice, Ploss and their colleagues discovered that hepatitis C virus infection requires previously identified CD81 and scavenger receptor type B class I, as well as two tight junction molecules, claudin 1 and occludin. The Rockefeller researchers showed that human CD81 and occludin were required for hepatitis C virus to enter mouse cells.

In the new study, the Rockefeller researchers and colleagues at The Scripps Research Institute tested whether introducing some of these previously identified human genes into mice would allow them to infect the animals with the hepatitis C virus. The researchers compared two groups of mice: one group expressed two genes, CD81 and occludin, while mice in the second group were normal. They found that expression of human CD81 and human occludin in the mouse liver rendered the animals susceptible to HCV infection. Ploss and his colleagues also developed a novel reporter system, which allowed them to sensitively detect HCV infection in living animals.

"We have established a precedent for applying mouse genetics to dissect viral entry and validate the role of scavenger receptor type B class 1, a molecule that is being considered as a novel antiviral drug target, for HCV uptake in a living animal," says Charles M. Rice, Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Professor and head of the Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease at Rockefeller. Rice also is executive and scientific director of the Center for the Study of Hepatitis C, an interdisciplinary center established jointly by The Rockefeller University, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Worldwide at least 130 million people are chronically infected with HCV, which poses a risk of severe liver injury and liver cancer. Current treatments are only partially effective and have considerable side effects, and a vaccine against hepatitis C does not exist.

"The global HCV epidemic mandates the development of more effective therapeutics including a vaccine," says Ploss. "This mouse model is a first step toward a platform that effectively serves this purpose."


Contact: Joseph Bonner
Rockefeller University

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists unlock potential of frog skin to treat cancer
2. The New York Stem Cell Foundation awards fellowships to 7 innovative stem cell scientists
3. UCSB scientists discover new direction in Alzheimers research
4. Indiana University neuroscientists map a new target to wipe pain away
5. NIH scientists reactivate immune cells exhausted by chronic HIV
6. Scientists identify overactive genes in aggressive breast cancers
7. Tie Between Biomarkers, Disease Often Overstated, Scientists Say
8. California scientists discover how vitamins and minerals may prevent age-related diseases
9. Scientists Discover Ultra-Bad Cholesterol
10. 3 renowned scientists recruited for cancer, physics and chemistry research at Rice
11. Scientists Appear One Step Closer to Reading Minds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is updating their record books yet again ... free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an accomplishment for the PRMA team, says ... and it’s an honor to have served all of these women.” , PRMA is ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the ... to improve system efficiency and reliability. , The new Q-Suite 6 platform is based ... system avoids locking itself into a specific piece of software for many key components ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Finnleo, a leader in ... on several models of traditional and far-infrared saunas. , For traditional saunas, ... the most traditional Finnish sauna wood, and Finnleo uses only European Grade A Nordic ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Ministers, senior government ... ANDI Pan African Centres of Excellence, and public R&D institutions, civil societies and ... opening of the 5th African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, ANDI, Stakeholders ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... FL (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... center, is encouraging people across the country to celebrate their sobriety and show ... people to post “before and after” photos this Thanksgiving with the hashtag #FacesOfGratitude ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 --> ... blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer. ... immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... that immunotherapy can be efficiently combined with photodynamic therapy ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... --> --> Juntendo University ... contrast weighting of MRI for patients with Multiple Sclerosis ... agreement with SyntheticMR in order to use SyMRI in clinical ... to generate multiple contrast images from a single scan and ... making it possible to both fine tune images and recreate ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... SAN FRANCISCO , November 26, 2015 ... 1.82 billion by 2022, according to a new report by ... as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which demands kidney transplantation is ... convenient and cost effective substitute for organ transplantation. --> ... 1.82 billion by 2022, according to a new report by ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: