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While at Insight Biotek Inc., Dr. Van Alstyne obtained three issued patents:

  • Van Alstyne, D., Sharma, LR. Apr. 23, 1996. Antibodies which bind meningitis-related homologous antigenic sequences. US Patent No. 5, 510,264.

  • Van Alstyne, D., Sharma, LR. Sept. 17, 1996. Peptides representing epitopic sites for bacterial and viral meningitis-causing organisms and their CNS carrier and uses thereof. US Patent No. 5,556,757.

  • Van Alstyne, D., Sharma, LR. Dec. 6, 2011. Methods to clear meningitis-causing agents using antibodies to peptides representing epitopic sites for bacterial and viral meningitis-causing agents. US Patent No. 8,071,102.


MS researchers report

(Vancouver Sun, 5 Sept 1983)

United Press International

NEW YORK - Frontiers in the search for the conquest of multiple sclerosis come in many forms.

Dr. Diane Van Alstyne and associates at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, for example, presented new evidence at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology supporting a theory that a virus is associated with the disease called the great crippler of young adults.

The evidence is based on lab studies of mice that can be made to develop a disease very much like MS. It is called experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, EAE.

EAE can e induced by injection of the mouse's own myelin the sheath surrounding nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. Or it can be induced in a species of mice through a virus infection.

In the new report, Dr. Van Alstyne and associates said they found that if mice are given a double-dose immunization with myelin containing rubella virus this produces much more severe and rapidly progressing EAE than the injection of myelin does.

They said this seems to indicate an animal disease similar to MS can be started by a virus infection that alters myelin in such a way as to provoke much stronger immune response from the animal, resulting in more severe illness.

In a different research approach, Dr. John R. Richert, a Georgetown University neurologist, reported he is able to stimulate immune system cells from the cerebral spinal fluid of multiple sclerosis patients and keep the cells alive in a culture for more than give months.

He told fellow scientists it has not been possible previously to grow these cells more than one month.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease of the central nervous system. The disease process destroys myelin. Messages that travel via the nerve network from the brain cannot make it over the areas where myelin is wrecked.

Richert, working on the theory that MS is an autoimmune disease, has been studying T lymphocytes. Those are white blood cells responsible for much of the body's immune reactions.

Using a protein food in myelin, the Georgetown scientists were able to stimulate T lymphocytes and keep them alive.

"This is important," Richert says, "because now we can keep T lymphocytes alive long enough to study the disease process and perhaps learn how to manipulate the course of the disease."

Relevant Publications:

  • Singh, V.K. and D. Van Alstyne. 1978. Glial Cells from normal adult rat brain established in continuous culture. Brain Res. 155:418-421.

  • Bohn, E.M. and D. Van Alstyne. 1980. The purification of rubella virus. Paper presented at the ICN-UCLA Symposium on Animal Virus Genetics, Keystone, Colorado. J. Supramol. Struc. 4:660.

  • Van Alstyne, D., G. Krystal, G.D. Kettlyls, and E.M. Bohn. 1981. Purification of rubella virus (RV) and determination of its polypeptide composition. Virology 108 (2):491-498.

  • Bohn, E.M. and D. Van Alstyne. 1981. The generation of defective interfering rubella virus particles. Virology 111(2):549-554

  • Pope, D.D. and D. Van Alstyne. 1981. Evidence for restricted replication of rubella virus in rat glial cells in culture. Virology 113(2):776-780

  • Van Alstyne, D., I.M. Dyck, K. Berry and D.W. Paty. 1983. Accelerated EAE in SJL mice by use of virus-infected brain as encephalitogen. Paper presented at the American Academy of Neurology 35th Annual meeting in San Diego. (See Vancouver Sun article above.)

  • Van Alstyne, D., M. DeCamillis, P. Sunga and R.F. Marsh. 1986. Rubella virus associated with cytoskeleton (rubella VACS) particles – Relevant to scrapie? Paper presented at the UCLA Symposium on positive strand RNA viruses, Keystone, Colorado. J. Cellular Biochem. 10D, Q65.

  • Van Alstyne, D., M. DeCamillis, P. Sunga and R.F. Marsh. 1987. Rubella irus associated withe cytoskeleton (rubella VACS) particles - Relevant to scrapie? Positive RNA Strand Viruses. UCLA Symposium on Molecular and Celular Biology, New Series, Vol. 54:519-536. Editors, M.A. Brinton and R. Rueckert. Alan R. Liss, Inc., New York, N.Y.

  • Lashley, P.M., S.N. Workman, D. Van Alstyne and P.N. Levett. 2000. Evaluation of a rapid screening assay for the direct detection of H.influenzae type b antigen in cerebrospinal fluid in pediatric meningitis. W.I. Med. J. 49, Suppl. 2,O-19.