, Volume 127, Issue 5, pp 531-539
Date: 15 Mar 2007

Scrapie strain transmission studies in ovine PrP transgenic mice reveal dissimilar susceptibility

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The Tg(OvPrP4) mouse line, expressing the sheep prion protein, is a sensitive model crucial for the identification of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent possibly present in natural sheep spongiform encephalopathies. It was also previously demonstrated as susceptible to infection with natural scrapie isolates from sheep harbouring various genotypes. The performance of this new transgenic mouse line in scrapie strain characterization was further assessed by intracranial inoculation of five groups of Tg(OvPrP4) mice with brain homogenate of the wild type mouse-adapted scrapie strains, C506M3, 22A, 79A, 87V, or Chandler. The Tg(OvPrP4) mice were susceptible to the scrapie agent transmitted using mouse-adapted scrapie strains but not equivalently. Strains 87V and Chandler were most readily transmissible followed by 79A and C506M3. Strain 22A was the least transmissible. Clinical signs, survival data, spongiosis, and PrPsc distribution were also reported. These various data demonstrate the possibility of distinguishing between scrapie strains. Our findings are discussed with regard to agent strain and host factors and already demonstrate the dissimilar susceptibilities of Tg(OvPrP4) mice to the different murine strains studied, thus, reinforcing their potential use in strain typing studies.