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PLoS Pathog. 2013;9(8):e1003485. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003485. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

Prion replication occurs in endogenous adult neural stem cells and alters their neuronal fate: involvement of endogenous neural stem cells in prion diseases.

Author information

1
Institut de Génétique Humaine, CNRS-UPR 1142, Montpellier, France.

Abstract

Prion diseases are irreversible progressive neurodegenerative diseases, leading to severe incapacity and death. They are characterized in the brain by prion amyloid deposits, vacuolisation, astrocytosis, neuronal degeneration, and by cognitive, behavioural and physical impairments. There is no treatment for these disorders and stem cell therapy therefore represents an interesting new approach. Gains could not only result from the cell transplantation, but also from the stimulation of endogenous neural stem cells (NSC) or by the combination of both approaches. However, the development of such strategies requires a detailed knowledge of the pathology, particularly concerning the status of the adult neurogenesis and endogenous NSC during the development of the disease. During the past decade, several studies have consistently shown that NSC reside in the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) and that adult neurogenesis occurs throughout the adulthood in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricle or the Dentate Gyrus of the hippocampus. Adult NSC are believed to constitute a reservoir for neuronal replacement during normal cell turnover or after brain injury. However, the activation of this system does not fully compensate the neuronal loss that occurs during neurodegenerative diseases and could even contribute to the disease progression. We investigated here the status of these cells during the development of prion disorders. We were able to show that NSC accumulate and replicate prions. Importantly, this resulted in the alteration of their neuronal fate which then represents a new pathologic event that might underlie the rapid progression of the disease.

PMID:
23935493
PMCID:
PMC3731238
DOI:
10.1371/journal.ppat.1003485
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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