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1.  Phenotypic characterization of cells participating in transport of prion protein aggregates across the intestinal mucosa of sheep 
Prion  2012;6(3):261-275.
The oral route is considered to be the main entry site of several transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases of animals and man. Following natural and experimental oral exposure to scrapie, sheep first accumulate disease associated prion protein (PrPd) in Peyer’s patch (PP) lymphoid follicles. In this study, recombinant ovine prion protein (rPrP) was inoculated into gut loops of young lambs and the transportation across the intestinal wall studied. In particular, the immunohistochemical phenotypes of cells bearing the inoculated prion protein were investigated. The rPrP was shown to be transported across the villi of the gut, into the lacteals and submucosal lymphatics, mimicking the transport route of PrPd from scrapie brain inoculum observed in a previous intestinal loop experiment. The cells bearing the inoculated rPrP were mainly mononuclear cells, and multicolor immunofluorescence procedures were used to show that the rPrP bearing cells were professional antigen presenting cells expressing Major histocompatibility complex II (MHCII). In addition, the rPrP bearing cells labeled with CD205, CD11b and the macrophage marker CD68, and not with the dendritic cell markers CD11c and CD209. Others have reported that cells expressing CD205 and CD11b in the absence of CD11c have been shown to induce T cell tolerance or regulatory T cells. Based on this association, it was speculated that the rPrP and by extension PrPd and scrapie infective material may exploit the physiological process of macromolecular uptake across the gut, and that this route of entry may have implications for immune surveillance.
PMCID: PMC3399537  PMID: 22437736
PrP; antigen presenting cells; dendritic cells; inclusion bodies; intestine; macrophages; pathogenesis; prion; recombinant; scrapie; sheep; transmission; uptake
2.  A morphological and molecular study of Anaplasma phagocytophilum transmission events at the time of Ixodes ricinus tick bite 
Anaplasma phagocytophilum is the causative agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) in humans and tick-borne fever (TBF) in ruminants. The bacterium invades and replicates in phagocytes, especially in polymorphonuclear granulocytes.
In the present study, skin biopsies and ticks (Ixodes ricinus) were collected from tick feeding lesions on 38 grazing lambs between two and three weeks after access to pastures. The histopathological changes associated with tick bites and A. phagocytophilum infection, were described. In addition the skin biopsies were examined by immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, samples from blood, skin biopsies and ticks were examined by serology, PCR amplification of msp2 (p44), genotyping of rrs (16S rRNA) variants, and compared with the results obtained from histological and immunohistochemical investigations.
Tick bites were associated with chronic and hyperplastic inflammatory skin lesions in this study. A. phagocytophilum present in skin lesions were mainly associated with neutrophils and macrophages. Bacteria were occasionally observed in the Tunica media and Tunica adventitia of small vessels, but were rarely found in association with endothelial cells. PCR and genotyping of organisms present in blood, ticks and skin biopsies suggested a haematogenous and a local spread of organisms at the tick attachment sites.
The present study describes different aspects of A. phagocytophilum infection at the site of tick bite, and indicates that A. phagocytophilum rarely associates with endothelium during the early pathogenesis of infection.
PMCID: PMC2904780  PMID: 20565721
3.  Lymphocyte Depletion in Ileal Peyer’s Patch Follicles in Lambs Infected with Eimeria ovinoidalis 
A total of 14 lambs were experimentally infected with Eimeria ovinoidalis in two separate experiments in two consecutive years. Nine lambs served as uninoculated controls. Material was collected from the ileum 2 weeks after infection in eight lambs and 3 weeks after infection in six lambs. Lambs examined 2 weeks after infection had normal follicles. After three weeks, the follicle-associated epithelium covering the lymphoid follicles of the ileal Peyer’s patches showed fusions with adjacent absorptive epithelium, focal hyperplasia, and occasionally necrosis. Macrogametes, microgamonts, and oocysts were often found in the follicle-associated epithelium and the dome region. Various degrees of lymphocyte depletion were present in the ileal lymphoid follicles in all six infected lambs 3 weeks after infection, and four lambs had decreased follicle size. Reduced staining for leukocyte common antigen (CD45), B-cell markers, and the proliferation marker Ki-67 was present in these lambs. Application of the terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling method for apoptotic cells revealed decreased staining in the ileal lymphoid follicles 3 weeks after infection. A marker of follicular dendritic cells, 5′- nucleotidase, showed increased reactivity, probably due to condensation of reticular cells following loss of follicle lymphocytes. Reduced staining for carbonic anhydrase in the follicle-associated epithelium and the domes was present in all six lambs examined 3 weeks after infection, indicating decreased production of carbonic anhydrase-reactive 50-nm particles and a decreased lymphoproliferative stimulus. In conclusion, the present study shows that severe E. ovinoidalis infection in lambs causes lesions of the follicle-associated epithelium and may result in lymphocyte depletion and atrophy of the ileal Peyer’s patch follicles.
PMCID: PMC119862  PMID: 11777834

Results 1-3 (3)