A complementary DNA library was constructed from messenger RNA's extracted from the brains of mice infected with the scrapie agent. The library was differentially screened with the objectives of finding clones that might be used as markers of infection and finding clones of genes whose increased expression might be correlated with the pathological changes common to scrapie and Alzheimer's disease. A gene was identified whose expression is increased in scrapie. The complementary DNA corresponding to this gene hybridized preferentially and focally to cells in the brains of scrapie-infected animals. The cloned DNA also hybridized to the neuritic plaques found with increased frequency in brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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