The gastrointestinal tract is thought to be the main site of entry for the pathological isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc). Prion diseases are believed to result from a conformational change of the cellular prion protein (PrPc) to PrPSc. Therefore, PrPc expression is a prerequisite for the infection and spread of the disease to the central nervous system. However, the distribution of PrPc in the gut is still a matter of controversy. We therefore investigated the localization of PrP c in the bovine and murine small intestine. In cattle, most PrP c positive epithelial cells were detected in the duodenum, while a few positive cells were found in the jejunum. PrPc was expressed in serotonin producing cells. In bovine Peyer's patches, PrPc was distributed in extrafollicular areas, but not in the germinal centre of the jejunum and ileum. PrPc was expressed in myeloid lineage cells such as myeloid dendritic cells and macrophages. In mice, PrPc was expressed in some epithelial cells throughout the small intestine as well as in cells such as follicular dendritic cell in the germinal centre of Peyer's patches. In this study, we demonstrate that there are a number of differences in the localization of PrPc between the murine and bovine small intestines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Medical Laboratory Technology
- Cell Biology