Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11274428
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2001 Mar;98(7):4034-7
Prion replication in spleen and neuroinvasion after i.p. inoculation of mice is impaired in forms of immunodeficiency where mature B lymphocytes are lacking. In spleens of wild-type mice, infectivity is associated with B and T lymphocytes and stroma but not with circulating lymphocytes. We generated transgenic prion protein knockout mice overexpressing prion protein in B lymphocytes and found that they failed to accumulate prions in spleen after i.p. inoculation. We conclude that splenic B lymphocytes are not prion-replication competent and that they acquire prions from other cells, most likely follicular dendritic cells with which they closely associate and whose maturation depends on them.