Gut cells may explain vCJD susceptibility

Gut cells may explain vCJD susceptibility

 

Wednesday, 14 December, 2016

Professor Neil Mabbott (The Rosin Institute) and colleagues have discovered why some people appear more susceptible to infection by prion proteins, which cause variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in people and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cows. Their study, in mice, found that M cells (specialised cells important for transporting material across the lining of the GI tract) are used by prions to infect the gut and the greater the number of M cells, the greater the infection by prions. Since young people tend to have more M cells than older people, this might explain why most vCJD cases were in young people.