Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 128, Issue 3, pp 243–251

Oral scrapie infection modifies the homeostasis of Peyer’s patches’ dendritic cells

  • Gauthier Dorban
  • Valérie Defaweux
  • Etienne Levavasseur
  • Caroline Demonceau
  • Olivier Thellin
  • Sylvain Flandroy
  • Joëlle Piret
  • Nandini Falisse
  • Ernst Heinen
  • Nadine Antoine
Original Paper


In transmitted prion diseases the immune system supports the replication and the propagation of the pathogenic agent (PrPSc). DCs, which are mobile cells present in large numbers within lymph organs, are suspected to carry prions through the lymphoid system and to transfer them towards the peripheral nervous system. In this study, C57Bl/6 mice were orally inoculated with PrPSc (scrapie strain 139A) and sacrificed at the preclinical stages of the disease. Immunolabelled cryosections of Peyer’s patches were analysed by confocal microscopy. Membrane prion protein expression was studied by flow cytometry. In Peyer’s patches (PP), dissected at day one and day 105 after oral exposure to scrapie, we observed an increased population of DCs localised in the follicular-associated epithelium. On day 105, PrPSc was found in the follicles inside the PP of prion-infected mice. A subset of Peyer’s patches DCs, which did not express cellular prion protein on their surface in non-infected mice conditions, was prion-positive in scrapie conditions. Within Peyer’s patches oral scrapie exposure thus induced modifications of the homeostasis of DCs at the preclinical stages of the disease. These results give new arguments in favour of the implication of DCs in prion diseases.


Prion Dendritic cell Peyer’s patches Mucosal immunity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gauthier Dorban
    • 1
  • Valérie Defaweux
    • 1
  • Etienne Levavasseur
    • 2
  • Caroline Demonceau
    • 1
  • Olivier Thellin
    • 1
  • Sylvain Flandroy
    • 1
  • Joëlle Piret
    • 1
  • Nandini Falisse
    • 1
  • Ernst Heinen
    • 1
  • Nadine Antoine
    • 3
  1. 1.Human Histology, Immunology Center, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Liège, C.H.U., Avenue de l’hôpitalLiegeBelgium
  2. 2.INSERM E209 and Pierre and Marie Curie University, Hôpital Saint-AntoineParisFrance
  3. 3.Department of Morphology-Pathology, Animal Histology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Liège, Boulevard de ColonsterLiegeBelgium

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