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Sunday, November 30, 2014

New Mouse Model Better Represents JC Virus That Infects MS Patients

shutterstock_198562259Posted by: Maureen Newman  
November 24, 2014
Researchers in the laboratory of Steve Goldman, MD, PhD, Co-Director of University of Rochester Center for Translational Neuromedicine, are delving deeper into the science behind progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a disease caused by the JC virus, which commonly affects multiple sclerosis patients and others with compromised immune systems. The team aims to improve the ways by which scientists study PML and test for new treatments.
Until now, scientists have been trying to make advances in PML research using inadequate models of disease. “The JC virus is an example of an infection that specifically targets glia, the brain’s support cells,” said Dr. Goldman, in a news release from the university. He further explained, “Because this virus only infects human glia and not brain cells in other species, it has eluded our efforts to better understand this disease. To get around this problem, we have developed a new mouse model that allows us to study human glia in live animals.”
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