1887

Abstract

Placentae from scrapie-affected ewes are an important source of contamination. This study confirmed that scrapie-incubating ewes bearing susceptible genotypes could produce both abnormal prion protein (PrP)-positive and -negative placentae, depending only on the PRP genotype of the fetus. The results also provided evidence indicating that scrapie-incubating ARR/VRQ ewes may be unable to accumulate prions in the placenta, whatever the genotype of their progeny. Multinucleated trophoblast cells appeared to play a key role in placental PrP accumulation. PrP accumulation began in syncytiotrophoblasts before disseminating to uninucleated trophoblasts. As these result from trophoblast/uterine epithelial cell fusion, syncytiotrophoblast cells expressed maternal and fetal PrP, whilst uninucleated trophoblast cells only expressed fetal PrP. In ARR/VRQ scrapie-infected ewes, expression of the ARR allele by syncytiotrophoblasts appeared to prevent initiation of PrP placental deposition. The absence of prions in affected ARR/VRQ sheep placentae reinforces strongly the interest in ARR selection for scrapie control.

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2007-03-01
2019-11-22
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