UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


Date of this Version

Spring 4-30-2020

Document Type



Poster presentation, UCARE Research Fair, Spring 2020, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright 2020 by the authors.


Zika virus is a single-stranded positive sense RNA virus that attracted international attention in 2015 when an epidemic broke out in Brazil. This vector borne virus is transmitted by mosquitos and is especially concerning for pregnant women because the virus can affect the development of the fetus. One known complication is the destruction of infected retinal epithelial cells. The transduction of light is interrupted due to cell death and results in blind spots. Previous research has demonstrated that palmitoleate can reduce the observed levels of apoptosis in ZIKAV infected JEG-3 cells. We have also seen the protection of retinal pigmented epithelial cells when treated with 200 uL and 100 uL of palmitoleate. In addition, 12-hour pre-treatment of palmitoleate has been shown to significantly reduce observed apoptosis. Treating for 72-96 hours post-infection has shown to protect from observed apoptosis more effectively than pre-treatments. Therefore, palmitoleate should be investigated as a possible nutritional supplement to protect the fetus of mothers in affected or high-risk areas.