Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Detection of disease-associated prion protein in the posterior portion of the small intestine involving the continuous Peyer's patch in cattle orally infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent.

Abstract

Twenty-eight calves were exposed to 5 g of homogenized brainstems confirmed as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agents. Two to five animals were sequentially killed for post-mortem analyses 20 months post-inoculation (MPI) at intervals of 6 or 12 months. Samples from animals challenged orally with BSE agents were examined by Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses. Immunolabelled, disease-associated prion protein (PrPsc) was detected in a small portion of follicles in the continuous Peyer's patch from the posterior portion of the small intestine involving the entire ileum and the posterior jejunum but not in the discrete Peyer's patches in the remaining jejunum in preclinical animals at 20, 36, and 48 MPI. The PrPsc-positive cells corresponded to tingible body macrophages on double immunofluorescence labelling. In addition, PrPsc accumulated in 7 of 14 animals in the central nervous system (CNS) after 34 MPI, and five of them developed clinical signs and were killed at 34, 46, 58, and 66 MPI. Two preclinical animals killed at 36 and 48 MPI presented the earliest detectable and smallest deposition of immunolabelled PrPsc in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve, the spinal trigeminal nucleus of the medulla oblongata at the obex region, and/or the intermediolateral nucleus of the 13th thoracic segment of the spinal cord. Based on serial killing, no PrPsc was detectable in the CNS, including the medulla oblongata at the obex level, before 30 MPI, by Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses. These results are important for understanding the pathogenesis of BSE.