1887

Abstract

The expression level of normal cellular prion protein (PrP) is thought to influence the transmission of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) from the peripheral entry site to the site of pathological changes in the central nervous system. In many TSEs, the clinical disease is preceded by a period in which the agent accumulates in lymphoid organs, particularly in association with follicular dendritic cells of lymphoid follicles. As the probable route of entry of the TSE agent is via the gut, the expression profile of PrP was examined in well-developed gut-associated lymphoid tissue of lambs, the ileal Peyer's patch, by laser microdissection and real-time RT-PCR. Lymphoid follicles were found to have very low levels of expression, whilst highest levels were detected in the outer submucosa and the muscular layer. These findings were supported by hybridization and immunohistochemistry, which showed specific labelling in nerve cells in ganglia of the submucosal (Meissner's) and myenteric (Auerbach's) plexi of the enteric nervous system. Based on the assumption that potential sites for conversion to the scrapie-related prion protein (PrP) should display high levels of expression of PrP, this study suggests that the accumulation of PrP in the lymphoid follicles of the Peyer's patch is not preceded by PrP conversion in the same tissue compartment.

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2006-11-01
2020-01-24
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