Amyloid plaques in Creutzfeldt‐Jakob disease stain with prion protein antibodies

Tetsuyuki Kitamoto, Jun Tateishi, Takatoshi Tashima, Iwao Takeshita, Ronald A. Barry, Stephen J. Dearmond, Stanley B. Prusiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)


Amyloid plaques are found in the brains of some patients with Creutzfeldt‐Jakob disease (CJD) and all patients with a related transmissible disorder, Gerstmann‐Sträussler syndrome (GSS). In scrapie, a prion disease of animals, amyloid plaques have been shown to be composed of prion proteins (PrP), which form filaments of relatively uniform diameter. We report here that antisera raised against hamster scrapie PrP specifically stain amyloid plaques in the brains of both humans and rodents with CJD as well as a human subject with GSS. Earlier studies showed that these antibodies react with both rodent and human CJD PrP. The immunostained congophilic amyloid plaques in rodent brains measured 10 to 30 μm in diameter and exhibited a Maltese cross appearance. Limited proteolysis enchanced immunostaining of amyloid plaques in human brain sections from patients with CJD or GSS. Presumably proteolysis increases the exposure of those epitopes shared by human and rodent PrP. The differences in immunoreactivity between rodent and human amyloid plaques are consistent with other findings showing that cellular genes, not infectious purified prions, encode PrP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-208
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1986 Aug
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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