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Neurobiol Dis. 2005 Nov;20(2):283-95.

MCP-1 and murine prion disease: separation of early behavioural dysfunction from overt clinical disease.

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CNS Inflammation Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO16 7PX, UK.


Prion diseases are chronic, fatal neurodegenerative conditions of the CNS. We have investigated the role of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in the ME7 model of murine prion disease. MCP-1 expression increased in the CNS throughout disease progression and was positively correlated with microglial activation. We subsequently compared the inflammatory response, pathology and behavioural changes in wild-type (wt) mice and MCP-1 knockout mice (MCP-1-/-) inoculated with ME7. Late-stage clinical signs were delayed by 4 weeks in MCP-1-/- mice, and survival time increased by 2-3 weeks. By contrast, early changes in affective behaviours and locomotor activity were not delayed in onset. There was also no difference in microglial activation or neuronal death in the hippocampus and thalamus of wt mice and MCP-1-/- mice. These results highlight an important dissociation between prolonged survival, early behavioural dysfunction and hippocampal/thalamic pathology when considering therapeutic intervention for human prion diseases and other chronic neurodegenerative conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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