While we can show that the regional lymph node plays no pivotal role in the neuroinvasion of prions for high doses of infection, we cannot rule out the possibility that lymph nodes are still involved in the distribution of prions throughout the body to other non-neural tissues.
The research, carried out by scientists in the group of Michael Beekes at the Robert-Koch Institute in Berlin, Germany, sheds new light on the important issue of how prion agents are transmitted from the site of infection to the brain and spinal cord, where they cause irreparable and fatal damage.
Christine Kratzel and colleagues investigated the role of the lymphoreticular system - which comprises the network of lymph nodes that is part of the body's defence system - in the spread of scrapie infection to nerve tissue in hamsters. The team discovered that if a lymph node close to the site of infection is removed within six days after a high or a medium dose of infective agent has been administered, the animal still develops the disease. However, if the node is removed 4 weeks before infection, a high dose causes the disease while a low dose does not (over the course of the 314 day time period for the study). The results suggest that for low doses of infective agent the lymphoreticular system is important in facilitating neuroinvasion i.e. the spread of prions from the infection site to the central nervous system.
The team also noted that after a node had been removed and the wound not yet healed, prion infection is substantially accelerated.
The findings are important because the role of the lymphoreticular system and inflammatory processes in the spread of prion infectivity through the body has been poorly understood. A clearer understanding of the factors involved in the transport of the agent in the body will help scientists and doctors to develop new ways of preventing and treating prion diseases.
Charlotte Webber | alfa
Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy