Projects per year
Many prion diseases are peripherally acquired (e.g., orally or via lesions to skin or mucous membranes). After peripheral exposure, prions replicate first upon follicular dendritic cells (FDC) in the draining lymphoid tissue before infecting the brain. However, after replication upon FDC within the draining lymphoid tissue, prions are subsequently propagated to most nondraining secondary lymphoid organs (SLO), including the spleen, by a previously underdetermined mechanism. The germinal centers in which FDC are situated produce a population of B cells that can recirculate between SLO. Therefore, we reasoned that B cells were ideal candidates by which prion dissemination between SLO may occur. Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor (S1PR)1 stimulation controls the egress of T and B cells from SLO. S1PR1 signaling blockade sequesters lymphocytes within SLO, resulting in lymphopenia in the blood and lymph. We show that, in mice treated with the S1PR modulator FTY720 or with S1PR1 deficiency restricted to B cells, the dissemination of prions from the draining lymph node to nondraining SLO is blocked. These data suggest that B cells interacting with and acquiring surface proteins from FDC and recirculating between SLO via the blood and lymph mediate the initial propagation of prions from the draining lymphoid tissue to peripheral tissues.
1/08/10 → 31/07/11
Assessing the risk of transmission of vcjd via blood transfusion and identifying potential for diagnosis and prevention
1/07/08 → 30/04/12