We describe a method of sample preparation to detect scrapie-associated fibril (SAF) proteins in small amounts of scrapie-infected mouse tissues by Western blot analysis using an antiserum to a synthetic peptide that corresponds to the N-terminal region of hamster prion protein. SAF proteins were efficiently detected in brain tissue by this procedure. The proteins were also detected in preparations from spleen and lymph node. SAF proteins were detected in brain samples at 24 weeks after intraperitoneal infection. Using spleen samples, the proteins were detected from mice in the preclinical stage (from 4 weeks after infection), clinical symptoms of scrapie were observed in some mice from 22 weeks after infection.


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