July 20, 2020
An international group of researchers have discovered that inhibiting AHR (aryl hydrocarbon receptor)—a protein with roles in regulating immunity, stem cell maintenance and cellular differentiation—enables the immune system to combat replication of zika virus in the organism far more effectively. In experiments performed at the University of São Paulo’s Biomedical Sciences Institute (ICB-USP) in Brazil, the antiviral therapy proved capable of preventing the development of microcephaly and other malformations in mouse fetuses whose mothers were infected while pregnant.
The study was supported by FAPESP. An article describing the results was published on July 20 in the journal Nature Neuroscience.