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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Abnormal Prion Protein in Ectopic Lymphoid Tissue in a Kidney of An Asymptomatic White-Tailed Deer Experimentally Inoculated with the Agent of Chronic Wasting Disease

item Hamir, Amirali
item Kunkle, Robert
item Miller, Janice - ARS RETIRED

Submitted to: Veterinary Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 14, 2005
Publication Date: May 1, 2006
Citation: Hamir, A.N., Kunkle, R.A., Miller, J.M., Hall, S.M. 2006. Abnormal prion protein in ectopic lymphoid tissue in a kidney of an asymptomatic white-tailed deer experimentally inoculated with the agent of chronic wasting disease. Veterinary Pathology. 43(3):367-369.

Interpretive Summary: Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal disease of brain and spinal cord of deer and elk. It belongs to a group of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) diseases which includes bovine spongiform encephalopathy or "mad cow disease". Infection by the CWD agent induces accumulations of an abnormal form of protein (called prion or PrP**res) in tissues of nervous and lymphoid systems. This report documents presence of PrP**res within kidney of a white tailed deer that was experimentally inoculated by intracerebral route with CWD. The deer was euthanized and examined at 10 months post inoculation. At that age it did not show any clinical signs of the disease but lesions of TSE were detected in the tissues. These findings confirm early involvement of tissues in white tailed deer. Also, it corroborates the recently published finding of presence of PrP**res in organs other than brain and lymphoid systems in laboratory animals with TSE (scrapie) by demonstration of the same phenomenon in a natural host species.

Technical Abstract: Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of deer and elk is one of a group of fatal, neurologic disease that affects several mammalian species, including human beings. Infection by the causative agent induces accumulations of an abnormal form of prion protein (PrP**res) in nervous and lymphoid tissues. This report documents the presence of PrP**res within lymphoid follicles in kidney of a white-tailed deer that had been experimentally inoculated by intracerebral route with CWD 10 months previously. The deer was non-clinical, but spongiform lesions characteristic of TSE were detected in tissues of the central nervous system (CNS) and PrP**res was seen in CNS and in lymphoid tissues by immunohistochemistry. These findings confirm previous reports of early involvement in the obex region of CNS and in lymphoid tissues of white-tailed deer with CWD. Also, the demonstration of PrP**res in kidney corroborates a recently published finding of PrP**res in lymphoid follicles of organs other than CNS and lymphoid tissues in laboratory animals with TSE (scrapie). This report, however, is the first description of a similar phenomenon in a natural host species.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015
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