Accumulation of Cholesterol Esters in ex vivo Lymphocytes from Scrapie-susceptible Sheep and in Scrapie-infected Mouse Neuroblastoma Cell Lines
American Journal of Infectious Diseases
Our studies on the role of cholesterol homeostasis in the pathogenesis of scrapie in sheep, revealed abnormal accumulation of cholesterol esters in brains and in ex vivo skin fibroblasts from genetically scrapie-susceptible, as compared to sheep with resistant genotype. We now report that PBMCs isolated from scrapie-susceptible sheep, as well as mouse neuroblastoma cell lines persistently infected with two different mouse-adapted strains of scrapie, showed similar alterations with up to 3-fold
... with up to 3-fold higher cholesterol ester levels than their resistant or uninfected counterparts. Treatments with drugs that interfere with intracellular cholesterol metabolism strongly reduced accumulation of cholesterol esters in scrapie-infected cell lines, whereas had significantly lower, or no effect, in uninfected cell line. These data add support to our hypothesis that accumulation of cholesterol esters may represent a biological marker of susceptibility to prion infection and a potential molecular target for prion inhibitors.