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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Intracerebral distribution of infectious amyloid protein in spongiform encephalopathy.

We studied the regional distribution of infectious amyloid protein by western immunoblots of brain tissue extracts from 37 patients with different forms of spongiform encephalopathy, i.e., 16 sporadic cases, 18 familial cases with a variety of mutations, and 3 iatrogenic cases. In sporadic and familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, amyloid protein concentrations were usually highest in the frontotemporal regions of the cerebral cortex, whereas iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome had as high or higher concentrations in the deep cerebral nuclei and cerebellum. As a group, familial cases had lower amyloid protein concentrations than either sporadic or iatrogenic cases, and fatal familial insomnia patients had the lowest concentrations found in any form of disease. This hierarchy of amyloid protein concentrations corresponds to the experimental transmission rates observed for each form of disease and is consistent with the concept that the protein molecule is an integral component of the infectious agent. Regional amyloid protein pattern analysis of brain and spinal cord may help to distinguish sporadic from environmentally acquired infections, as for example, cases of human disease suspected to have arisen from exposure to sheep or cows infected with scrapie or bovine spongiform encephalopathy.[1]


  1. Intracerebral distribution of infectious amyloid protein in spongiform encephalopathy. Brown, P., Kenney, K., Little, B., Ironside, J., Will, R., Cervenáková, L., Bjork, R.J., San Martin, R.A., Safar, J., Roos, R. Ann. Neurol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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