Enhanced CD9 expression in the mouse and human brains infected with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

Katsumi Doh-Ura, Eisuke Mekada, Koji Ogomori, Toru Iwaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


A tetraspan protein CD9, normally expressed in the myelin sheath of the central and peripheral nervous system, was identified to be up-regulated in mouse brains infected with transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), by mRNA differential display screening. To elucidate its role in the neurodegeneration process observed in TSE, CD9 expression was examined in the murine disease model and in the human disease materials. Up-regulation of CD9 gene expression in the TSE-infected mouse brains was detected as early as a preclinical stage, when abnormal prion protein deposition and vacuolation were obviously manifested in the internal capsule and thalamus. In contrast, other myelin protein genes showed a reverse pattern of CD9 gene expression. Enhanced CD9 expression was immunohistochemically detected in the astrocytes of such pathological regions. In human specimens of TSE, enhanced CD9 immunoreactivity was observed in the astrocytes and some oligodendrocytes in the brains, but no relevant alteration in CD9 immunoreactivity was observed in the other organs or tissues. Positive CD9 immunoreactivity in astrocytes was also manifest in other neurological disorders in a less prominent manner. The findings indicate that up-regulated CD9 plays a role in glial cells in pathological conditions, especially in such a devastating condition as TSE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-785
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of neuropathology and experimental neurology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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