Central nervous system extracellular matrix changes in a transgenic mouse model of bovine spongiform encephalopathy

Martí Pumarola Batlle, Enric Vidal Barba, Anna Bassols, Carme Costa, Raül Tortosa, Danielle Padilla, Juan Maria Torres, Isidre Ferrer

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy characterised by accumulation of resistant prion protein (PrPBSE), neuronal loss, spongiosus and glial cell proliferation. In this study, properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM) were investigated in boTg110 transgenic mice over-expressing the bovine cellular prion protein (PrPc) and infected with BSE. Using immunohistochemistry with Wisteria floribunda agglutinin as a specific marker for perineuronal nets (PNNs) and antibodies against aggrecan and hyaluronic acid binding protein, loss of ECM was correlated with PrPBSE accumulation and activation of astrocytes and microglia. PrPBSE accumulation and glial cell activation were detected from the earliest stages of the disease and increased in the terminal stages. Decreases in PNNs, aggrecan and hyaluronic acid were observed only in the terminal stages and correlated with the distribution of PrPBSE and activated glial cells. This study suggests that the loss of PNNs, aggrecan and hyaluronic acid is a consequence of PrPBSE accumulation. Degradation of ECM in BSE may be due to secretion of degradative enzymes by activated glial cells. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-314
JournalVeterinary Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009


  • Aggrecan
  • Bovine spongiform encephalopathy
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Perineuronal nets
  • Transgenic mice


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