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Prion. 2017 Sep 3;11(5):338-351. doi: 10.1080/19336896.2017.1349590.

Remarkable increases of α1-antichymotrypsin in brain tissues of rodents during prion infection.

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a State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases (Zhejiang University), National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention , Beijing , People's Republic of China.
b College of Life Science and Technology, Heilongjiang Bayi Agricultural University , Daqing , People's Republic of China.


α1-Antichymotrypsin (α1-ACT) belongs to a kind of acute-phase inflammatory protein. Recently, such protein has been proved exist in the amyloid deposits which is the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, but limitedly reported in prion disease. To estimate the change of α1-ACT during prion infection, the levels of α1-ACT in the brain tissues of scrapie agents 263K-, 139A- and ME7-infected rodents were analyzed, respectively. Results shown that α1-ACT levels were significantly increased in the brain tissues of the three kinds of scrapie-infected rodents, displaying a time-dependent manner during prion infection. Immunohistochemistry assays revealed the increased α1-ACT mainly accumulated in some cerebral regions of rodents infected with prion, such as cortex, thalamus and cerebellum. Immunofluorescent assays illustrated ubiquitously localization of α1-ACT with GFAP positive astrocytes, Iba1-positive microglia and NeuN-positive neurons. Moreover, double-stained immunofluorescent assays and immunohistochemistry assays using series of brain slices demonstrated close morphological colocalization of α1-ACT signals with that of PrP and PrPSc in the brain slices of 263K-infected hamster. However, co-immunoprecipitation does not identify any detectable molecular interaction between the endogenous α1-ACT and PrP either in the brain homogenates of 263K-infected hamsters or in the lysates of prion-infected cultured cells. Our data here imply that brain α1-ACT is increased abnormally in various scrapie-infected rodent models. Direct molecular interaction between α1-ACT and PrP seems not to be essential for the morphological colocalization of those two proteins in the brain tissues of prion infection.


PrP; astrocytes; microglia; prion disease; α1-Antichymotrypsin

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