The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been discovered by Indian researchers to be capable of infecting neuronal cells and altering the biomolecules of fatty acids, carbohydrates, and protein building blocks.
In order to investigate the potential effects of a cancer-causing virus on brain cells, a research team from the Indian Institute Of Technology(IIT) Indore, India, used the Raman microspectroscopy technique.
It has been discovered that the EBV virus is widely distributed among humans. Although it normally doesn’t affect anyone, the virus can reactivate inside the body under some rare circumstances such as immunological stress or immunocompetent. The changes can result in diseases of the central nervous system and brain cancer. They also noticed that the viral effect caused the lipid, cholesterol, proline, and glucose molecules in the cells to rise.
This could also result in other issues like multiple sclerosis, stomach cancer, Burkitt’s lymphoma, and other blood cancers. Previous research connected EBV to several neurodegenerative disorders. However, how this virus might influence and manipulate brain cells is still unknown.
“The research work aids in the understanding of EBV-mediated biomolecular changes in the various compartments of the central nervous system leading to better understanding of nervous system diseases,” said Dr. Hem Chandra Jha, the team leader from Infection Bioengineering group at IIT Indore.
The research also demonstrates the benefits of Raman microspectroscopy, a low-cost and non-invasive method, for researching virus-associated cellular problems in clinical settings. Compared to other approaches, which necessitate sophisticated settings for examining the virus-associated alterations in cells, tissues, and organs, it may offer an advantage in analyzing clinical samples.
“This study is also helpful in establishing the advantages of Raman microspectroscopy, a cost-effective and non-invasive technique, in carrying out studies on virus-associated cellular complications in clinical settings. It could provide an upper hand in analysing clinical samples in comparison to other techniques, which require advanced setups for studying the virus-associated changes in cells, tissues, and organs,” said Prof Rajesh Kumar.
The Raman Effect-based method is an easy, affordable instrument for detecting delicate chemical alterations in biological material.
The research, published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience, demonstrated that numerous biomolecules in neuronal cells might undergo prompt and gradual alterations under the influence of viruses.
Furthermore, these modifications were distinct from those seen in other supporting brain cells, that is, astrocytes and microglia.