Studies of the role of the Herpesviridae viral family in oligodendrocytic degeneration      


The etiology, risk factors and development of neurodegenerative diseases as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) remains to be still speculative. With the present project, my group tries to study in vitro, in oligodendrocytes cultures, the effect of the infection of those members of the family Herpesviridae proposed to be considered in the establishment and development of the MS: basically Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1), but also Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) or Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6).

Preliminary studies point at a difference of susceptibility to infection by some Herpesvirus according to the state of cellular differentiation. For that reason, we will analyze the expression of differentiation markers of oligodendrocytes and the effect that viral infection would exert on this process. In this sense, we can suggest a double analysis: the study of effects of infection on the cellular stage of development and, obviously, the inverse process: the effects of stage of development on the susceptibility to herpes, processes, as we understand, that could be crucial to involve neurotropic virus in neurodegenerative disorders. For that reason, in a later stage, we will try to develop mixed cultures, neurons-oligodendrocytes, and to study the effects of the infection on these co-cultures. 

Finally, after establishing the optimal parameters of the infection in susceptible established cultures, the infection of primary cultures of murine oligodendrocytes will be also performed.

In summary, our study aim at the cellular and molecular possible implication of some virus of the Herpesviridae family with the etiology of neurodegenerative processes, not completely clarified yet.




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