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Impaired Prion Replication in Spleens of Mice Lacking Functional Follicular Dendritic Cells

Science  19 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5469, pp. 1257-1259
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5469.1257

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Abstract

In scrapie-infected mice, prions are found associated with splenic but not circulating B and T lymphocytes and in the stroma, which contains follicular dendritic cells (FDCs). Formation and maintenance of mature FDCs require the presence of B cells expressing membrane-bound lymphotoxin-α/β. Treatment of mice with soluble lymphotoxin-β receptor results in the disappearance of mature FDCs from the spleen. We show that this treatment abolishes splenic prion accumulation and retards neuroinvasion after intraperitoneal scrapie inoculation. These data provide evidence that FDCs are the principal sites for prion replication in the spleen.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: c.weissmann{at}ic.ac.uk

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