Journal of comparative pathology

Short-term study of the uptake of PrP(Sc) by the Peyer's patches in hamsters after oral exposure to scrapie.

PMID 16473365


The disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) has been detected in the ileal Peyer's patches of lambs as early as one week after oral exposure to scrapie. In hamsters, the earliest reported time of PrP(Sc) detection in the Peyer's patches after oral exposure to scrapie is 69 days post-infection. To evaluate the acute uptake of inoculum and to investigate whether the Peyer's patches constitute the primary site of entry for scrapie after oral exposure, hamsters were each exposed orally to 1 ml of a 10% brain homogenate from hamsters in the terminal stage of infection with the 263 K strain of the scrapie agent. PrP(Sc) was demonstrated in the Peyer's patches only a few days after exposure, i.e., much earlier than previously reported. This study supports the view that the Peyer's patches constitute at least one of the primary entry sites of PrP(Sc) after oral exposure to scrapie.