Prion titres were measured in the lungs and brains of Syrian hamsters after intraperitoneal inoculation with sucrose gradient-purified 263K prions (approximately 10(8) LD50). Prions were detected in the lung of one hamster on day 7, but were not detected in the lungs of any other hamster until day 71. Prions were detected in the lungs of all hamsters sampled thereafter but titres remained low through day 127. Prions were first detected in the brain on day 35 and brain titres increased exponentially until day 127 with a doubling time of about 4.5 days. On day 133, titres averaged 10(8.0) LD50/g in brain and 10(5.0) LD50/g in lung. Two out of the five remaining hamsters were clinically normal but prion titres were not significantly different from those in the clinically affected hamsters. Thus, significant prion titres may be found outside the CNS in clinically normal hamsters.


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