Infection of Cell Lines with Experimental and Natural Ovine Scrapie Agents

M. H. Neale, S. J. Mountjoy, J. C. Edwards, D. Vilette, H. Laude, O. Windl, G. C. Saunders
2009 Journal of Virology  
Mouse bioassay remains the gold standard for determining proof of infectivity, strain type, and infectious titer estimation in prion disease research. The development of an approach using ex vivo cell-based assays remains an attractive alternative, both in order to reduce the use of mice and to hasten results. The main limitation of a cell-based approach is the scarcity of cell lines permissive to infection with natural transmissible spongiform encephalopathy strains. This study combines two
more » ... ances in this area, namely, the standard scrapie cell assay (SSCA) and the Rov9 and MovS6 cell lines, which both express the ovine PrP VRQ allele, to assess to what extent natural and experimental ovine scrapie can be detected ex vivo. Despite the Rov9 and MovS6 cell lines being of different biological origin, they were both permissive and resistant to infection with the same isolates of natural sheep scrapie as detected by SSCA. Rov9 subclones that are 20 times more sensitive than Rov9 to SSBP/1-like scrapie infection were isolated, but all the subclones maintained their resistance to isolates that failed to transmit to the parental line. The most sensitive subclone of the Rov9 cell line was used to estimate the infectious titer of a scrapie brain pool (RBP1) and proved to be more sensitive than the mouse bioassay using wild-type mice. Increasing the sensitivity of the Rov9 cell line to SSBP/1 infection did not correlate with broadening susceptibility, as the specificity of permissiveness and resistance to other scrapie isolates was maintained.
doi:10.1128/jvi.01855-09 pmid:20032176 pmcid:PMC2820909 fatcat:dsrvlk2q2rbszkvqz5c362rfvm