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Scientists Observe Infectious Prion Proteins Invade And Move Within Brain Cells

Date:
May 25, 2005
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
Scientists for the first time have watched agents of brain-wasting diseases, called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), as they invade a nerve cell and then travel along wire-like circuits to points of contact with other cells. These findings will help scientists better understand TSE diseases and may lead to ways to prevent or minimize their effects. TSE, or prion, diseases include scrapie in sheep and goats; chronic wasting disease in deer and elk; mad cow disease in cattle; and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in humans.

Prions branded with a fluorescent dye (red) were added to nerve cells taken from mice. The prions initially were in the form of large clumps on the cell, but over time the clumps were broken into smaller units and transported along wire-like nerve cell projections.
Credit: Image courtesy of NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Scientists for the first time have watched agents of brain-wasting diseases, called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), as they invade a nerve cell and then travel along wire-like circuits to points of contact with other cells. These findings will help scientists better understand TSE diseases and may lead to ways to prevent or minimize their effects. TSE, or prion, diseases include scrapie in sheep and goats; chronic wasting disease in deer and elk; mad cow disease in cattle; and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in humans.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Scientists Observe Infectious Prion Proteins Invade And Move Within Brain Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050524225513.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2005, May 25). Scientists Observe Infectious Prion Proteins Invade And Move Within Brain Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050524225513.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Scientists Observe Infectious Prion Proteins Invade And Move Within Brain Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050524225513.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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