Role of the GALT in scrapie agent neuroinvasion from the intestine

Bridget R Glaysher, Neil A Mabbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Following oral exposure, some transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) agents accumulate first upon follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) in the GALT. Studies in mice have shown that this accumulation is obligatory for the efficient delivery of the TSE agent to the brain. However, which GALTs are crucial for disease pathogenesis is uncertain. Mice deficient in specific GALT components were used here to determine their separate involvement in scrapie agent neuroinvasion from the intestine. In the combined absence of the GALTs and FDCs (lymphotoxin (LT)alpha(-/-) mice and LTbeta(-/-) mice), scrapie agent transmission was blocked. When FDC maturation was induced in remaining lymphoid tissues, mice that lacked both Peyer's patches (PPs) and mesenteric lymph nodes (wild-type (WT)-->LTalpha(-/-) mice) or PPs alone (WT-->LTbeta(-/-) mice) remained refractory to disease, demonstrating an important role for the PPs. Although early scrapie agent accumulation also occurs within the mesenteric lymph nodes, their presence in WT-->LTbeta(-/-) mice did not restore disease susceptibility. We have also shown that isolated lymphoid follicles (ILFs) are important novel sites of TSE agent accumulation in the intestine. Mice that lacked PPs but contained numerous FDC-containing mature ILFs succumbed to scrapie at similar times to control mice. Because the formation and maturation status of ILFs is inducible and influenced by the gut flora, our data suggest that such factors could dramatically affect susceptibility to orally acquired TSE agents. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that following oral exposure TSE agent accumulation upon FDCs within lymphoid tissue within the intestine itself is critically required for efficient neuroinvasion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3757-66
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2007

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Dendritic Cells, Follicular
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Intestines
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha
  • Lymphotoxin-beta
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Peyer's Patches
  • PrPSc Proteins
  • Scrapie


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