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Prions and the immune system: a journey through gut, spleen, and nerves.


Aguzzi, A (2003). Prions and the immune system: a journey through gut, spleen, and nerves. Advances in Immunology, 81:123-171.

Abstract

For more than two decades it has been contended that prion infection does not elicit immune responses: transmissible spongiform encephalopathies do not go along with conspicuous inflammatory infiltrates, and antibodies to the prion protein are typically undetectable. Why is it, then, that prions accumulate in lymphoid organs, and that various states of immune deficiency prevent peripheral prion infection? This review revisits the current evidence of the involvement of the immune system in prion diseases, while attempting to trace the elaborate mechanisms by which peripherally administered prions invade the brain and ultimately cause damage. The investigation of these questions leads to unexpected detours, including the neurophysiology of lymphoid organs, and even the function of a prion protein homolog in male fertility.

For more than two decades it has been contended that prion infection does not elicit immune responses: transmissible spongiform encephalopathies do not go along with conspicuous inflammatory infiltrates, and antibodies to the prion protein are typically undetectable. Why is it, then, that prions accumulate in lymphoid organs, and that various states of immune deficiency prevent peripheral prion infection? This review revisits the current evidence of the involvement of the immune system in prion diseases, while attempting to trace the elaborate mechanisms by which peripherally administered prions invade the brain and ultimately cause damage. The investigation of these questions leads to unexpected detours, including the neurophysiology of lymphoid organs, and even the function of a prion protein homolog in male fertility.

Citations

67 citations in Web of Science®
76 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Neuropathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2003
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:26
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:21
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0065-2776
Publisher DOI:10.1016/S0065-2776(03)81004-0
PubMed ID:14711055

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