1887

Abstract

Placentas from scrapie-affected ewes are known to be infectious. Nevertheless, placenta infectivity in such ewes is not systematic. Maternal transmission to lambs is highly suspected but contamination of the foetus in utero has not been demonstrated. Using ewes from a naturally scrapie-infected flock, it was demonstrated that abnormal prion protein (PrP) accumulation in the placenta (i) is controlled by polymorphisms at codons 136, 154 and 171 of the foetal gene and (ii) is restricted mainly to placentome foetal trophoblastic cells. In order to go deeper into the role of the placenta in scrapie transmission, the pattern of PrP dissemination was established in susceptible lambs (genotype VRQ/VRQ) sampled from 140 days post-insemination to the age of 4 months from either VRQ/VRQ ewes with PrP-positive placentas or ARR/VRQ ewes with PrP-negative placentas. In both VRQ/VRQ lamb groups, PrP spatial and temporal accumulation patterns were similar, suggesting post-natal rather than in utero contamination.

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2002-10-01
2019-10-14
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