Thursday, June 21, 2012
Clinical and Pathologic Features of H-Type Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Associated with E211K Prion Protein Polymorphism
Justin J. Greenlee1*, Jodi D. Smith1, M. Heather West Greenlee2, Eric M. Nicholson1
1 National Animal Disease Center, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa, United States of America, 2 Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, United States of America
The majority of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) cases have been ascribed to the classical form of the disease. Htype and L-type BSE cases have atypical molecular profiles compared to classical BSE and are thought to arise spontaneously. However, one case of H-type BSE was associated with a heritable E211K mutation in the prion protein gene. The purpose of this study was to describe transmission of this unique isolate of H-type BSE when inoculated into a calf of the same genotype by the intracranial route. Electroretinograms were used to demonstrate preclinical deficits in retinal function, and optical coherence tomography was used to demonstrate an antemortem decrease in retinal thickness. The calf rapidly progressed to clinical disease (9.4 months) and was necropsied. Widespread distribution of abnormal prion protein was demonstrated within neural tissues by western blot and immunohistochemistry. While this isolate is categorized as BSE-H due to a higher molecular mass of the unglycosylated PrPSc isoform, a strong labeling of all 3 PrPSc bands with monoclonal antibodies 6H4 and P4, and a second unglycosylated band at approximately 14 kDa when developed with antibodies that bind in the C-terminal region, it is unique from other described cases of BSE-H because of an additional band 23 kDa demonstrated on western blots of the cerebellum. This work demonstrates that this isolate is transmissible, has a BSE-H phenotype when transmitted to cattle with the K211 polymorphism, and has molecular features that distinguish it from other cases of BSE-H described in the literature.
Results and Discussion
Most significantly it must be determined if the molecular phenotype of this cattle TSE remains stable when transmitted to cattle without the E211K polymorphism as several other isolates of atypical BSE have been shown to adopt a molecular profile consistent with classical BSE after passage in transgenic mice expressing bovine PrPC  or multiple passages in wild type mice . Results of ongoing studies, namely passage of the E211K Htype isolate into wild-type cattle, will lend further insight into what role, if any, genetic and sporadic forms of BSE may have played in the origins of classical BSE. Atypical cases presumably of spontaneous or, in the case of E211K BSE-H, genetic origins highlight that it may not be possible to eradicate BSE entirely and that it would be hazardous to remove disease control measures such as prohibiting the feeding of meat and bone meal to ruminants.
http://bse-atypical.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... -of-h.html