Transmission of chronic spongiform encephalopathy with kuru plaques from humans to small rodents.

Ann Neurol 1979 Jun;5(6):581-4

An unusual case of spongiform encephalopathy was transmitted directly from a human to rats and mice. After serial passages, incubation periods were shortened to about six months in rats and four months in mice. Clinical symptoms were similar in rats and mice, including ruffled fur, arched back, bradykinesia, and hind limb paralysis. Pathologically, a spongy state, proliferation of astrocytes, and neuronal changes were observed. Electron microscopic observation of the parietal cortex of rats and mice disclosed many membrane-bound vacuoles in the neuropil, predominantly in dendrites. In the pons of mice, intramyelinic vacuoles and accumulation of extracellular fluid were prominent. The clinicopathological symptoms of the affected animals resembled those in other experimental spongiform encephalopathies, especially scrapie.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.410050616DOI Listing
June 1979

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