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Acta Neuropathol. 1999 Nov;98(5):453-7.

Deposition of disease-associated prion protein involves the peripheral nervous system in experimental scrapie.

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Bundesforschungsanstalt für Viruskrankheiten der Tiere, Institut für Impfstoffe, Tübingen, Germany.


There is some evidence that the peripheral nervous system (PNS) is involved in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The TSE-specific abnormal prion protein (PrP(sc)) is considered as surrogate marker for infectivity. We traced the deposition of PrP(sc) by immunocytochemistry in sheep and hamsters inoculated intraperitoneally with scrapie. The trigeminal, dorsal root, celiac, thoracic, and nodose ganglia contained ganglion cells and fewer satellite cells with prominent granular PrP(sc) deposition. As a novel deposition pattern, punctate deposits in adaxonal location were seen along nerve fibers of peripheral nerve adjacent to ganglia. Such prominent involvement of the PNS in two different experimental scrapie models emphasizes the need to consider the PNS in natural scrapie and other TSEs including bovine spongiform encephalopathy as potential source of infectivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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