Immunohistochemical study of macrophage and cytokine dynamics in the gut of scrapie-infected mice
Romero Trevejo, J.L.
Blanco Rodríguez, A.
Bautista Pérez, María José
EditorUniversidad de Murcia
Gut-associated lymphoid tissues
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To study numerical changes in intestinal macrophages and variations in cytokine production by immune cells in the intestine, conventional C57BL/6J mice were orally infected with the Rocky Mountain Laboratory strain of scrapie. Animals were sacrificed at different timepoints, and samples were taken and processed by routine methods for morphological and immunohistochemical analysis. The results point to a possible role for macrophages in the uptake and transport of the infective agent to Peyer’s patches. The observed increase in macrophage numbers in subepithelial sites, taken in conjunction with a drop in tumour necrosis factor-a production at these sites, suggests a possible secretory inhibition that could be induced by the disease-associated prion protein (PrPd). On the other hand, cytokine dynamics indicated the presence of an impaired Th1-Th2 cell mediated response, which could facilitate the spread of PrPd to the central nervous system. Further research is required to confirm these hypotheses.