Migratory Leukocytes in the Pathogenesis and Diagnosis of Prion Disease
Annual rept. 15 May 2003-14 May 2004
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIV BROOKINGS
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Of all infectious diseases, prions remain the least understood and most difficult to study. Although it is generally accepted that immune cells are key components to the pathogenesis of the disease, relatively little is understood regarding their involvement. It is the goal of this work to understand the roles of migratory immune cells, including B cells and dendritic cells, in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encepthalopathies. To this end, we have two specific tasks to understand the expression of the normal prion protein on immune cells in sheep, and to use that knowledge to investigate the potential role of migratory B cells in TSEs. Here, we describe our work which clearly demonstrated differences in the expression of PrP on the surface of B cells and B cell subsets, linked to the genetic background of the animal i.e. scrapie susceptibility. In addition experiments on scrapie infected animals, we found that these same subsets appeared to be disrupted in infected as compared to normal animals, suggesting a potential effect of scrapie on the differentiation of B cells in lymph node germinal centers. This work has direct relevance to both the understanding and potential diagnosis of prion diseases in sheep and other species.
- Medicine and Medical Research