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Am J Pathol. 2006 Mar;168(3):927-35.

Detection and localization of PrPSc in the skeletal muscle of patients with variant, iatrogenic, and sporadic forms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Author information

1
National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit and Division of Pathology, School of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. a.peden@ed.ac.uk

Abstract

Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) differs from other human prion diseases in that the pathogenic prion protein PrP(Sc) can be detected to a greater extent at extraneuronal sites throughout the body, principally within lymphoid tissues. However, a recent study using a high-sensitivity Western blotting technique revealed low levels of PrP(Sc) in skeletal muscle from a quarter of Swiss patients with sporadic CJD (sCJD). This posed the question of whether PrP(Sc) in muscle could also be detected in vCJD, sCJD, and iatrogenic (iCJD) patients from other populations. Therefore, we have used the same high-sensitivity Western blotting technique, in combination with paraffin-embedded tissue blotting, to screen for PrP(Sc) in muscle tissue specimens taken at autopsy from 49 CJD patients in the United Kingdom. These techniques identified muscle PrP(Sc) in 8 of 17 vCJD, 7 of 26 sCJD, and 2 of 5 iCJD patients. Paraffin-embedded tissue blotting analysis showed PrP(Sc) in skeletal muscle in localized anatomical structures that had the morphological and immunohistochemical characteristics of nerve fibers. The detection of PrP(Sc) in muscle tissue from all forms of CJD indicates the possible presence of infectivity in these tissues, suggesting important implications for assessing the potential risk of iatrogenic spread via contaminated surgical instruments.

PMID:
16507908
PMCID:
PMC1606529
DOI:
10.2353/ajpath.2006.050788
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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