Scrapie infection diminishes spines and increases varicosities of dendrites in hamsters

A quantitative Golgi analysis

R. N. Hogan, J. R. Baringer, S. B. Prusiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An altered morphology of neuronal dendrites has been shown to be associated with many degenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). Scrapie is a CNS degenerative disorder caused by a novel infectious particle or prion. Golgi impregnation studies showed that neurons in the scrapie-infected brains of hamsters contained varicose swellings and diminished numbers of dendritic spines. In order to ascertain whether or not these differences were statistically significant, quantitative methods were applied to brain samples from scrapie-infected hamsters and compared to uninfected controls. Golgi impregnated layer III pyramidal neurons from both motor and visual cortex exhibited two types of changes in infected animals. First, loss of dendritic spines on the apical shaft of both motor and visual neurons were found from 50 to 200 μm from the cell body (p < 0.001). Second, spherical varicosities on dendritic stalks ranging from 7 to 25 μm in diameter were found. The average number of varicosities per cell was 18.1 in infected animals with varicosities on dendrites of controls numbering less than 3 per cell. Less than 2% of the control cells exhibited these varicosities, while greater than 80% of the scrapie dendrites exhibited varicosities. These changes in scrapie are similar to those reported in Creutzfeldt-Jakob and Alzheimer's disease in human patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-473
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Volume46
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987

Fingerprint

Scrapie
Dendrites
Cricetinae
Spine
Infection
Dendritic Spines
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome
Pyramidal Cells
Prions
Central Nervous System Diseases
Motor Cortex
Brain
Motor Neurons
Visual Cortex
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Alzheimer Disease
Neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Scrapie infection diminishes spines and increases varicosities of dendrites in hamsters : A quantitative Golgi analysis. / Hogan, R. N.; Baringer, J. R.; Prusiner, S. B.

In: Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, Vol. 46, No. 4, 1987, p. 461-473.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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