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In vivo depletion of CD11c+ cells impairs scrapie agent neuroinvasion from the intestine

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7758-66
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007


Following oral exposure, some transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) agents accumulate first upon follicular dendritic cells (DCs) in the GALT. Studies in mice have shown that TSE agent accumulation in the GALT, in particular the Peyer's patches, is obligatory for the efficient transmission of disease to the brain. However, the mechanism through which TSE agents are initially conveyed from the gut lumen to the GALT is not known. Studies have implicated migratory hemopoietic DCs in this process, but direct demonstration of their involvement in vivo is lacking. In this study, we have investigated the contribution of CD11c(+) DCs in scrapie agent neuroinvasion through use of CD11c-diptheria toxin receptor-transgenic mice in which CD11c(+) DCs can be specifically and transiently depleted. Using two distinct scrapie agent strains (ME7 and 139A scrapie agents), we show that when CD11c(+) DCs were transiently depleted in the GALT and spleen before oral exposure, early agent accumulation in these tissues was blocked. In addition, CD11c(+) cell depletion reduced susceptibility to oral scrapie challenge indicating that TSE agent neuroinvasion from the GALT was impaired. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that migratory CD11c(+) DCs play a key role in the translocation of the scrapie agent from the gut lumen to the GALT from which neuroinvasion subsequently occurs.

    Research areas

  • Administration, Oral, Animals, Antigens, CD11c, Dendritic Cells, Follicular, Immunity, Mucosal, Intestines, Lymph Nodes, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Transgenic, Peyer's Patches, PrPSc Proteins, Spleen

ID: 8580270