A Polish research team used a spectroscopy technique called Raman imaging to conduct a preclinical study of the effect of COVID-19 mRNA (Pfizer/BioNT) vaccine on in vitro glial cells of the brain.

Lodz University Research Team

The team members include Halina AbramczykB. Brozek-Pluska, and Karolina Beton, who are all affiliated with Lodz University of Technology, Institute of Applied Radiation Chemistry, Laboratory of Laser Molecular Spectroscopy in Łódź, Poland, which is an important national research and industrial hub. 

The team published a non-peer-reviewed paper about their in vitro research on the bioRxiv preprint server earlier this month. The study was supported with government funds.

Brain Glial Cells Incubated with mRNA COVID Vaccine 

The researchers applied Pfizer mRNA vaccine on brain glial cells, or neuroglia, are which are non-neuronal cells located within the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. These cells provide provide physical and metabolic support to neurons, including neuronal insulation and communication, and nutrient and waste transport.Subscribe to the Trialsitenews “COVID-19” ChannelNo spam – we promise

Cells Exposed to mRNA In Vitro At Increased Risk of Apoptosis

The researchers concluded that the vaccine reduced glial cells’ ability to use oxygen, produce energy and defend themselves. Cells exposed to the Pfizer vaccine also were at greater risk of apoptosis.

“The results obtained for human brain normal and tumor glial cells of astrocytes, astrocytoma, glioblastoma incubated with the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine Pfizer/BioNT vaccine show alterations in the reduction-oxidation pathways associated with cytochrome c,” the researchers wrote.

Cytochrome c is a hemeprotein that is loosely associated with the inner membrane of the mitochondrion, which is the cell organelle that performs biochemical processes of respiration and energy production.

Chemical Changes to Cells Similar to Those Found in Cancer Cells

The researchers also discovered that changes to glial cells exposed to Pfizer’s mRNA COVID vaccine were similar to chemical changes that occur in cancer cells, according to the aggressiveness of the cancer.

“The observed alterations in biochemical profiles upon incubation with COVID-19 mRNA in the specific organelles of the glial cells are similar to those we observe for brain cancer vs grade of aggressiveness,” the team wrote. 

The team also found that mRNA changes to mitochondria can lead to lower immune system response.

Raman Spectroscopy Used

The team used Raman spectroscopy to monitor changes in the redox state of the mitochondrial cytochromes in human brain cells in vitro of normal astrocytes, astrocytoma, glioblastoma after they were incubated with mRNA vaccine. 

Raman imaging is a technique based on Raman scattering allowing not only a single spectrum acquisition characteristic for a single point of the sample but also the analysis of vibrational spectra of any sample area. The imaging mode allows the analysis of distribution of different chemical molecules inside the sample. 

Researchers then observed mRNA biodistribution of cytochrome c and other components on human brain glial cells organelles including the nucleus, mitochondria, lipid droplets, cytoplasm, rough endoplasmatic reticulum and membrane. 

“The results obtained for mitochondria, lipid droplets, cytoplasm may suggest that COVID-19 mRNA (Pfizer/BioNT) vaccine reprograms immune responses,” the researchers wrote.

mRNA biodistribution has become an intense focus of research with some scientists arguing that gene therapy-based COVID vaccines do not cross the brain-blood barrier and others contend that they do.

The Lodz University team, however, cites research that found that “COVID-19 mRNA has been recovered from the cerebrospinal fluid suggesting it can cross the blood–brain barrier.”

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