It is suggested that pathogenic prion protein (PrPsc) may accumulate in peripheral nervous tissues in addition to the specified-risk materials. To assess the risk of PrPsc accumulation in peripheral tissues, the present study was designed to study the ratio of peripheral nervous tissues in tongues, skeletal muscles and intestines in 2-week- and 59-month-old cows. The nervous tissues could be detected by immunohisto-chemistry using antibody Neurofilament 150. After immunostaining with Neurofilament 150, the photographs taken from each section were applied for Scion Image software. Then, the ratio of nervous tissues in tongues, skeletal muscles and intestines were calculated. The highest ratio of peripheral nervous tissues was observed in intestines, the second highest ratio was found in tongues, and the lowest ratio was recognized in skeletal muscles in both 2-week- and 59-month-old cows. The ratio of nervous tissues in intestines was approximately 2.5 fold and 10 fold, compared to that in skeletal muscles in 2-week- and 59-month-old cows, respectively. These results suggest that intestines and tongues may have a higher risk of PrPsc accumulation, compared to skeletal muscles.
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