German researchers have identified an altered expression of endogenous retroviruses in BSE-infected non-human primates.
Prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle are transmissible neurodegenerative diseases linked to the aggregation of the prion protein in the central nervous system. It is known that the aggregation of prion proteins promotes neuronal decay with fatal consequences for the infected individual. However, there is only a limited understanding of how neurons are lost and which molecules are involved.
The study of the researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Berlin) and for Primate Research (Göttingen) and their colleagues from the Helmholtz Center Munich could guide new treatment strategies for human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Source: Deutsches Primatenzentrum