Progressive accumulation of PrP(Sc), a hallmark of prion diseases, occurs when conversion of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc) is faster than PrP(Sc) clearance. Engulfment of apoptotic bodies by phagocytes is mediated by Mfge8 (milk fat globule epidermal growth factor 8). In this study, we show that brain Mfge8 is primarily produced by astrocytes. Mfge8 ablation induced accelerated prion disease and reduced clearance of cerebellar apoptotic bodies in vivo, as well as excessive PrP(Sc) accumulation and increased prion titers in prion-infected C57BL/6 × 129Sv mice and organotypic cerebellar slices derived therefrom. These phenotypes correlated with the presence of 129Sv genomic markers in hybrid mice and were not observed in inbred C57BL/6 Mfge8(-/-) mice, suggesting the existence of additional strain-specific genetic modifiers. Because Mfge8 receptors are expressed by microglia and depletion of microglia increases PrP(Sc) accumulation in organotypic cerebellar slices, we conclude that engulfment of apoptotic bodies by microglia may be an important pathway of prion clearance controlled by astrocyte-borne Mfge8.