1887

Abstract

The involvement of muscles in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) is irregular and unpredictable. We show that the TSE-specific protein (PrP) is present in muscles of mice fed with a mouse-adapted strain of bovine spongiform encephalopathy as early as 100 days post-infection, corresponding to about one-third of the incubation period. The proportion of mice with PrP-positive muscles and the number of muscles involved increased as infection progressed, but never attained more than a limited distribution, even at the clinical stage of disease. The appearance of PrP in muscles during the preclinical stage of disease was probably due to the haematogenous/lymphatic spread of infectivity from the gastrointestinal tract to lymphatic tissues associated with muscles, whereas in symptomatic animals, the presence of PrP in the nervous system, in neuromuscular junctions and in muscle fibres suggests a centrifugal spread from the central nervous system, as already observed in other TSE models.

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2009-10-01
2019-11-21
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