Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
EMBO J. 1997 Oct 15;16(20):6057-65.

Astrocyte-specific expression of hamster prion protein (PrP) renders PrP knockout mice susceptible to hamster scrapie.

Author information

  • 1Institut für Molekularbiologie, Abteilung I, University of Zürich, H-onggerberg, 8093 Z-urich, Switzerland.


Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are characterized by spongiosis, astrocytosis and accumulation of PrPSc, an isoform of the normal host protein PrPC. The exact cell types responsible for agent propagation and pathogenesis are still uncertain. To determine the possible role of astrocytes, we generated mice devoid of murine PrP but expressing hamster PrP transgenes driven by the astrocyte-specific GFAP promoter. After inoculation with hamster scrapie, these mice accumulated infectivity and PrPSc to high levels, developed severe disease after 227 +/- 5 days and died 7 +/- 4 days later. Therefore, astrocytes could play an important role in scrapie pathogenesis, possibly by an indirect toxic effect on neurons. Interestingly, mice expressing the same transgenes but also endogenous murine PrP genes propagated infectivity without developing disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center