Neuropathology Cores directed by Dr. DeArmond have been part of Stanley Prusiner PPGs for the past 25 years. The overall goal has been to test the hypothesis that emerged from Dr. DeArmond's early correlative kinetic studies of PrP[Sc] neurochemistry, PrP{Sc] imunohistochemistry, and neuropathological analysis during the course of prion diseases, which stated that formation and accumulation of PrP[Sc] in neurons are the cause ofthe clinically relevant neuropathological changes. All of our evidence today suggests that neurodegeneration in prion diseases progresses in stereotypical sequence of pathogenic events that underlies neurological dysfunction and degeneration in prion disease. The sequence encompasses a progression of functional and neuropathological changes that begin with formation and accumulation abnormal protease resistant PrP[Sc] in neurons, proceeds rapidly to synaptic degeneration as PrPSc[ Sc]accumulates in plasma membranes, and terminates in autophagic nerve cell death when PrP[Sc] accumulates in lysosomes and autophagosomes. The main theme of this PPG's Projects is prion strains. Project 1 proposes to create multiple synthetic prions and compare their physical characteristics with their pathologic phenotype in transgenic mice. In Project 2, yeast prions Sc4 and Sc37 will be mutated to test their ability to infect mammalian cells in vitro and in vivo. Project 3 proposes to use """"""""induced neuronal cells"""""""" (iN cells) carrying mutations in genes associated with neurodegeneration, such as APP, presenilin-1 and tau, and test whether the gene mutations predispose them for prion-like infection. The Neuropathology Core has all techniques and expertise to analyze the tissues provided to us. The resulting pathologies may be novel.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
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University of California San Francisco
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