94 research outputs found

    Relevance of the regional lymph node in scrapie pathogenesis after peripheral infection of hamsters

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The exact role of the lymphoreticular system in the spread of peripheral prion infections to the central nervous system still needs further elucidation. Against this background, the influence of the regional lymph node <it>(Ln. popliteus</it>) on the pathogenesis of scrapie was monitored in a hamster model of prion infection <it>via </it>the footpad.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Surgical lymphadenectomy was carried out at different time points after infection, or prior to inoculation, in order to elucidate the impact of the lymph node on lethal neuroinvasion.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The <it>Ln. popliteus </it>did not show an influence on pathogenesis when a high dose of infectivity was administered. However, it was found to modulate the interval of time until the development of terminal scrapie in a subset of animals lymphadenectomized after low-dose infection. In additon, lymphadenectomy performed four weeks before inoculation prevented cerebral PrP<sup>TSE </sup>deposition and development of disease during the period of observation (314 days) in the majority of hamsters challenged with a very low dose of scrapie agent.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Our findings suggest the regional lymph node as a potentially facilitating or even essential factor for invasion of the brain after peripheral challenge with low doses of infectious scrapie agent. The invasive <it>in vivo </it>approach pursued in this study may be applied also to other animal species for further elucidating the involvement of lymphoid tissue in the pathogenesis of experimental and natural TSEs.</p

    Propagation of CJD Prions in Primary Murine Glia Cells Expressing Human PrPc

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    There are various existing cell models for the propagation of animal prions. However, in vitro propagation of human prions has been a long-standing challenge. This study presents the establishment of a long-term primary murine glia culture expressing the human prion protein homozygous for methionine at codon 129, which allows in vitro propagation of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) prions (variant CJD (vCJD) and sporadic CJD (sCJD) type MM2). Prion propagation could be detected by Western blotting of pathological proteinase K-resistant prion protein (PrPSc) from 120 days post exposure. The accumulation of PrPSc could be intensified by adding a cationic lipid mixture to the infectious brain homogenate at the time of infection. Stable propagation of human prions in a long-term murine glia cell culture represents a new tool for future drug development and for mechanistic studies in the field of human prion biology. In addition, our cell model can reduce the need for bioassays with human prions and thereby contributes to further implementation of the 3R principles aiming at replacement, reduction and refinement of animal experiments.Peer Reviewe

    Faecal shedding, alimentary clearance and intestinal spread of prions in hamsters fed with scrapie

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    Shedding of prions via faeces may be involved in the transmission of contagious prion diseases. Here, we fed hamsters 10 mg of 263K scrapie brain homogenate and examined the faecal excretion of disease-associated prion protein (PrPTSE) during the course of infection. The intestinal fate of ingested PrPTSE was further investigated by monitoring the deposition of the protein in components of the gut wall using immunohistochemistry and paraffin-embedded tissue (PET) blotting. Western blotting of faecal extracts showed shedding of PrPTSE in the excrement at 24–72 h post infection (hpi), but not at 0–24 hpi or at later preclinical or clinical time points. About 5% of the ingested PrPTSE were excreted via the faeces. However, the bulk of PrPTSE was cleared from the alimentary canal, most probably by degradation, while an indiscernible proportion of the inoculum triggered intestinal infection. Components of the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) and the enteric nervous system (ENS) showed progressing accumulation of PrPTSE from 30 days post infection (dpi) and 60 dpi, respectively. At the clinical stage of disease, substantial deposits of PrPTSE were found in the GALT in close vicinity to the intestinal lumen. Despite an apparent possibility of shedding from Peyer’s patches that may involve the follicle-associated epithelium (FAE), only small amounts of PrPTSE were detected in faeces from clinically infected animals by serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA). Although excrement may thus provide a vehicle for the release of endogenously formed PrPTSE, intestinal clearance mechanisms seem to partially counteract such a mode of prion dissemination

    Quantitative Detection and Biological Propagation of Scrapie Seeding Activity In Vitro Facilitate Use of Prions as Model Pathogens for Disinfection

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    Prions are pathogens with an unusually high tolerance to inactivation and constitute a complex challenge to the re-processing of surgical instruments. On the other hand, however, they provide an informative paradigm which has been exploited successfully for the development of novel broad-range disinfectants simultaneously active also against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Here we report on the development of a methodological platform that further facilitates the use of scrapie prions as model pathogens for disinfection. We used specifically adapted serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) for the quantitative detection, on steel wires providing model carriers for decontamination, of 263K scrapie seeding activity converting normal protease-sensitive into abnormal protease-resistant prion protein. Reference steel wires carrying defined amounts of scrapie infectivity were used for assay calibration, while scrapie-contaminated test steel wires were subjected to fifteen different procedures for disinfection that yielded scrapie titre reductions of ≀101- to ≄105.5-fold. As confirmed by titration in hamsters the residual scrapie infectivity on test wires could be reliably deduced for all examined disinfection procedures, from our quantitative seeding activity assay. Furthermore, we found that scrapie seeding activity present in 263K hamster brain homogenate or multiplied by PMCA of scrapie-contaminated steel wires both triggered accumulation of protease-resistant prion protein and was further propagated in a novel cell assay for 263K scrapie prions, i.e., cerebral glial cell cultures from hamsters. The findings from our PMCA- and glial cell culture assays revealed scrapie seeding activity as a biochemically and biologically replicative principle in vitro, with the former being quantitatively linked to prion infectivity detected on steel wires in vivo. When combined, our in vitro assays provide an alternative to titrations of biological scrapie infectivity in animals that substantially facilitates the use of prions as potentially highly indicative test agents in the search for novel broad-range disinfectants

    Presence and Seeding Activity of Pathological Prion Protein (PrPTSE) in Skeletal Muscles of White-Tailed Deer Infected with Chronic Wasting Disease

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    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a contagious, rapidly spreading transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), or prion disease, occurring in cervids such as white tailed-deer (WTD), mule deer or elk in North America. Despite efficient horizontal transmission of CWD among cervids natural transmission of the disease to other species has not yet been observed. Here, we report for the first time a direct biochemical demonstration of pathological prion protein PrPTSE and of PrPTSE-associated seeding activity, the static and dynamic biochemical markers for biological prion infectivity, respectively, in skeletal muscles of CWD-infected cervids, i. e. WTD for which no clinical signs of CWD had been recognized. The presence of PrPTSE was detected by Western- and postfixed frozen tissue blotting, while the seeding activity of PrPTSE was revealed by protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA). Semi-quantitative Western blotting indicated that the concentration of PrPTSE in skeletal muscles of CWD-infected WTD was approximately 2000-10000 -fold lower than in brain tissue. Tissue-blot-analyses revealed that PrPTSE was located in muscle-associated nerve fascicles but not, in detectable amounts, in myocytes. The presence and seeding activity of PrPTSE in skeletal muscle from CWD-infected cervids suggests prevention of such tissue in the human diet as a precautionary measure for food safety, pending on further clarification of whether CWD may be transmissible to humans

    Whole-genome sequencing reveals host factors underlying critical COVID-19

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    Critical COVID-19 is caused by immune-mediated inflammatory lung injury. Host genetic variation influences the development of illness requiring critical care1 or hospitalization2–4 after infection with SARS-CoV-2. The GenOMICC (Genetics of Mortality in Critical Care) study enables the comparison of genomes from individuals who are critically ill with those of population controls to find underlying disease mechanisms. Here we use whole-genome sequencing in 7,491 critically ill individuals compared with 48,400 controls to discover and replicate 23 independent variants that significantly predispose to critical COVID-19. We identify 16 new independent associations, including variants within genes that are involved in interferon signalling (IL10RB and PLSCR1), leucocyte differentiation (BCL11A) and blood-type antigen secretor status (FUT2). Using transcriptome-wide association and colocalization to infer the effect of gene expression on disease severity, we find evidence that implicates multiple genes—including reduced expression of a membrane flippase (ATP11A), and increased expression of a mucin (MUC1)—in critical disease. Mendelian randomization provides evidence in support of causal roles for myeloid cell adhesion molecules (SELE, ICAM5 and CD209) and the coagulation factor F8, all of which are potentially druggable targets. Our results are broadly consistent with a multi-component model of COVID-19 pathophysiology, in which at least two distinct mechanisms can predispose to life-threatening disease: failure to control viral replication; or an enhanced tendency towards pulmonary inflammation and intravascular coagulation. We show that comparison between cases of critical illness and population controls is highly efficient for the detection of therapeutically relevant mechanisms of disease

    Whole-genome sequencing reveals host factors underlying critical COVID-19