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Enhancement of phagocytotic activity by prion protein in PrP-deficient macrophage cells

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Macrophages, especially follicular dendritic cells, contribute to the pathogenesis of prion diseases by accumulating an abnormal isoform of prion protein (PrPSc), which is converted from the cellular isoform of prion protein (PrPC). As information on the function of PrPC in macrophages is limited, we have established a prion protein (PrP) gene (Prnp)-deficient macrophage cell line from the bone marrow of ZrchI Prnp−/− mice. These cells expressed macrophage specific proteins (F4/80 and MOMA-2) and displayed phagocytotic properties. The Prnp−/− macrophage cell line (MplZ) showed shorter pseudopodium extension and less phagocytotic activity than a Prnp+/+ macrophage cell line (MWF). In addition, the MplZ cells were more sensitive to serum deprivation than the MWF cells and underwent apoptotic cell death in these conditions. These findings suggest that PrPC enhances the incorporation of materials possibly including PrPSc and decreases the sensitivity of cells to oxidative stress, which may be induced by PrPSc accumulation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Molecular Immunology, School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan

Publication date: October 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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