Submitted to: Keystone Symposia
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/2004
Publication Date: 1/11/2005
Citation: Young, A.J., Elmubark, G., Nthale, J., Hamir, A.N., Richt, J. 2005. Genetic and scrapie-associated differences in PrPc expression of peripheral blood B cell subsets [abstract]. Molecular Mechanisms of TSEs (Prion Diseases), Keystone Symposia. p. 61. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Scrapie is a naturally occurring disease of sheep and goats. Infection by the causative agent, considered to be the post-translationally modified form of a host-encoded membrane glycoprotein (PrPc), leads to spongiform encephalopathy and accumulation of an abnormal form of prion protein (PrPSc) in tissues of the nervous and lymphoid systems. Susceptibility to scrapie is partially dependent on the prion protein genotype of the host. In the present study, the potential role of B-lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of sheep scrapie was analyzed. B cells from animals homozygous for the R171 resistance allele of the PrP gene expressed significantly lower levels of PrPc on B cells than those expressing the Q171 allele. In addition, CD21+ B cells expressed significantly higher levels of PrPc than their CD21- B cell counterparts, this difference being most evident in scrapie-infected sheep. These results might indicate a unique role of B cells in the pathogenesis of scrapie.