Lab study supports idea of ‘cytokine storm’ in H5N1 flu

first_img See also: Nov 16, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A recent laboratory study has produced more evidence that infection of human lung cells with the H5N1 avian influenza virus leads to intense inflammation similar to what was seen in victims of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. The H5N1 viruses were “more potent inducers” of cytokines and chemokines—chemical messengers that trigger inflammation—than H1N1 viruses were, says the report by a team led by J.S.M. Peiris of the University of Hong Kong. A flood of inflammation-triggering chemicals released by the immune systems has been referred to as a “cytokine storm.” Autopsies of H5N1 avian flu victims in Vietnam and elsewhere have revealed lungs choked with debris from the excessive inflammation triggered by the virus. Similar severe lung damage was frequently reported in victims of the 1918 pandemic, which disproportionately killed people with the strongest immune systems—young, healthy adults. The Hong Kong researchers sought to test their hypothesis that the H5N1 virus’s ability to trigger a flood of cytokines may contribute to the unusually severe disease it causes in humans. They used H5N1 viruses isolated from a patient who died of the infection in Hong Kong in 1997 and from two Vietnamese patients who were infected in 2004, plus an ordinary H1N1 virus isolated in Hong Kong in 1998. Chan MCW, Cheung CY, Chui WH, et al. Proinflamatory cytokine responses induced by influenza A(H5N1) viruses in primary human alveolar and bronchial epithelial cells. Respir Res 2005 (published online Nov 11) [Abstract] Laboratory cultures of human alveolar cells and bronchial epithelial cells were exposed to these viruses. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), the researchers assessed the levels of various cytokines and chemokines at several time intervals after infection. “We have found that infection with H5N1 viruses led to the production of 10 times higher levels of cytokines from human cells than normal human flu viruses,” said Peiris, as quoted Nov 12 in The Standard, a Chinese business newspaper.center_img Researchers from Hong Kong report that lung cells growing in a laboratory responded much more intensely to the H5N1 virus than to an ordinary flu virus, even though the viruses reproduced at about the same rate, according to the report published online by Respiratory Research. They found that all the H5N1 viruses caused cells to secrete significantly higher levels of IP-10 (interferon-gamma-inducible protein 10), interferon beta, a type of T cell known as RANTES, and interleukin-6 than the H1N1 virus did. In addition, the 2004 versions of H5N1 caused cells to release more IP-10 at 6 hours than the 1997 version did. Oct 11 CIDRAP News story “Experts cite differences between H5N1 and ordinary flu” The different cytokine responses are not explained by different viral growth rates, because all three virus subtypes replicated with similar efficiency, the article says. “The cellular mechanisms underlying this differential cytokine hyper-induction by H5N1 viruses are presently poorly understood,” it states. The report says previous research has shown that patients with H5N1 disease have higher levels of IP-10 and other chemokines in their blood than do people infected with ordinary flu, a finding that parallels the present laboratory findings. In addition, the article says that studies of recombinant flu viruses carrying genes from the 1918 pandemic virus showed that the recombinant viruses were highly lethal and induced high levels of macrophage-derived chemokines in mice. However, it is not yet clear whether the increased chemokine levels were due to “hyper-induction” of the chemokines or just rapid growth of the virus.last_img read more

Lakers notes: Robert Sacre playing bigger role, no longer Mr. Irrelevant

first_img“That non-guarantee is overwhelming a little bit,” Sacre said. “But the Lakers knew what they wanted. They’re happy with me and I’m happy being with this organization.”It’s still a challenge considering Sacre has sat on the bench for 15 games because of D’Antoni’s preference to have a stretch forward. Sacre posted only two points on four shot attempts in five minutes against Toronto.“He has to go with the mindset to bring us energy and run the floor,” D’Antoni said. “He’s done that and done it well. But there’s a lot of people that have that role so we go back and forth at times to his detriment.”The Lakers also like Sacre’s team-first mindset, which he partly credits toward Nash.“He’s one of the hardest working guys even though he’s older than most people,” Sacre said of Nash, who turns 40 in February. “He’s always in the gym working his game, trying to improve and get better himself. I try to mimic my game after that.”Heavy roleJodie Meeks has remained in high spirits all season, and why shouldn’t he? He’s played for at least 40 minutes for the past eight games, because of long-term injuries to the Lakers’ backcourt.“It’s fun. I’m not complaining,” said Meeks, who posted 11 points in the Lakers’ win over Toronto. “I’ve been on the other side of that with not playing at all.”Meeks has managed such a role partly after reducing his sugar intake and lowering his body fat percentage from nine to six percent. He has also averaged a career-high 14.6 points on 44.6 percent shooting, with D’Antoni attributing it to improved outside shooting, drives to the basket and defense.“Sometimes last year I didn’t see the game as well,” Meeks said. “I wasn’t playing many minutes understandably since I was behind Kobe [Bryant] and he was healthy. This year, I’m getting more of a feel of things I can do.” The Lakers are, too.“He got us right through customs easily,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni joked.The Lakers like Sacre beyond travel conveniences. After being tabbed Mr Irrelevant as the 60th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Sacre has assumed a more relevant role with the Lakers, averaging 4.6 points and 3.4 rebounds through 14.2 minutes both as a reserve (18 games) and starter (eight).“I look at it as a blessing in disguise,” Sacre said of his draft standing. “It kept me hungry and kept me on my toes in getting better.”The Lakers sensed enough in Sacre’s improvement this offseason on his post moves, pick-and-roll execution and defense to sign him to a three-year extension worth $2.6 million, with the first two seasons guaranteed. TORONTO — A swarm of Canadian journalists hovered around his locker, latching onto every word he spoke.Steve Nash making a return to a country where he’s served as a living inspiration for all Canadian basketball players and the national team’s current general manager?Nope. Nash is training in Vancouver to heal the nerve issues in his back. Instead, Lakers backup center Robert Sacre took over ambassador duties.“I don’t think of it as that,” Sacre said before the Lakers’ 112-106 win Sunday over the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. “But I’m very proud to say that I represent Canada.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Suit seeks to halt class

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Similar battles are being fought in Georgia and Kansas over the controversial subject. Officials of El Tejon Unified School District, which is a defendant in the suit, could not immediately be reached for comment. Superintendent John Wight said last week that the class, “Philosophy of Design,” was not being taught as science and was an opportunity for students to debate the controversial issue. Fifteen students were enrolled in the class in Lebec, a town of 1,285 in the Tehachapi Mountains between the agricultural Central Valley and Los Angeles, about 75 miles south. The five-member school board was divided when it learned about the class last month and discovered that three guest lecturers were scheduled to speak in support of intelligent design, but none in favor of evolution. One pro-evolution speaker listed on the syllabus declined to participate because he disagreed with the class topic, and another – Nobel laureate Francis Crick, who co-discovered the structure of DNA – had died more than a year earlier. The class is taught by social studies teacher Sharon Lemburg, who is married to an Assembly of God pastor. FRESNO – A rural high school teaching a religion-based alternative to evolution was sued Tuesday by a group of parents who said the class should be stopped because it violates the U.S. Constitution. Frazier Mountain High School in Lebec violated the separation of church and state while attempting to legitimize the theory of “intelligent design” by introducing it as philosophy taught by a minister’s wife, according to the U.S. District Court suit filed by the parents of 13 students. “The course was designed to advance religious theories on the origins of life, including creationism and its offshoot, ‘intelligent design,”‘ the suit said. “Because the teacher has no scientific training, students are not provided with any critical analysis of this presentation.” The suit was filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which successfully blocked Dover, Pa., schools last month from using science courses to advance the theory that living things are so complex they must have been designed by a higher being. An initial course description sent to parents in December said it would examine “evolution as a theory and will discuss the scientific, biological, and Biblical aspects that suggest why Darwin’s philosophy is not rock solid.” The El Tejon district’s Board of Trustees approved the course 3-2 with a revised syllabus in a Jan. 1 special session, during which board members had to vote up or down on the entire winter session curriculum. Classes started two days later, with a less scientific and more philosophical class plan that relied solely on videos, not guest speakers. Still, the Washington, D.C.-based group said that with only one exception, the course “relies exclusively on videos that advocate religious perspectives and present religious theories as scientific ones.” “This is clearly intended to introduce religion into a public school,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The lawsuit against the district and its trustees on behalf of 11 parents seeks a temporary restraining order to halt the four-week class in its second week. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more