Neurodevelopmental expression and localization of the cellular prion protein in the central nervous system of the mouse


The Journal of Comparative Neurology


1 June, 2010


Benvegnù S, Poggiolini I, Legname G

J Comp Neurol. 2010 Jun 1;518(11):1879-91. doi: 10.1002/cne.22357.


Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are neurodegenerative disorders caused by PrP(Sc), or prion, an abnormally folded form of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)). The abundant expression of PrP(C) in the central nervous system (CNS) is a requirement for prion replication, yet despite years of intensive research the physiological function of PrP(C) still remains unclear. Several routes of investigation point out a potential role for PrP(C) in axon growth and neuronal development. Thus, we undertook a detailed analysis of the spatial and temporal expression of PrP(C) during mouse CNS development. Our findings show regional differences of the expression of PrP, with some specific white matter structures showing the earliest and highest expression of PrP(C). Indeed, all these regions are part of the thalamolimbic neurocircuitry, suggesting a potential role of PrP(C) in the development and functioning of this specific brain system.