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PLoS Pathog. 2014 Dec 11;10(12):e1004531. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004531. eCollection 2014 Dec.

The role of the NADPH oxidase NOX2 in prion pathogenesis.

Author information

1
Institute of Neuropathology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
2
Institute of Surgical Pathology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract

Prion infections cause neurodegeneration, which often goes along with oxidative stress. However, the cellular source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their pathogenetic significance are unclear. Here we analyzed the contribution of NOX2, a prominent NADPH oxidase, to prion diseases. We found that NOX2 is markedly upregulated in microglia within affected brain regions of patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Similarly, NOX2 expression was upregulated in prion-inoculated mouse brains and in murine cerebellar organotypic cultured slices (COCS). We then removed microglia from COCS using a ganciclovir-dependent lineage ablation strategy. NOX2 became undetectable in ganciclovir-treated COCS, confirming its microglial origin. Upon challenge with prions, NOX2-deficient mice showed delayed onset of motor deficits and a modest, but significant prolongation of survival. Dihydroethidium assays demonstrated a conspicuous ROS burst at the terminal stage of disease in wild-type mice, but not in NOX2-ablated mice. Interestingly, the improved motor performance in NOX2 deficient mice was already measurable at earlier stages of the disease, between 13 and 16 weeks post-inoculation. We conclude that NOX2 is a major source of ROS in prion diseases and can affect prion pathogenesis.

PMID:
25502554
PMCID:
PMC4263757
DOI:
10.1371/journal.ppat.1004531
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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