The expression of prion protein by endothelial cells: a source of the plasma form of prion protein?

Starke, R., Drummond, O., MacGregor, I., Biggerstaff, J., Gale, R., Camilleri, R., Mackie, I.J., Machin, S.J. and Harrison, P. 2002. The expression of prion protein by endothelial cells: a source of the plasma form of prion protein? British Journal of Haematology. 119 (3), pp. 863-873.

TitleThe expression of prion protein by endothelial cells: a source of the plasma form of prion protein?
AuthorsStarke, R., Drummond, O., MacGregor, I., Biggerstaff, J., Gale, R., Camilleri, R., Mackie, I.J., Machin, S.J. and Harrison, P.
Abstract

The neuronal prion protein (PrPC) is also expressed within peripheral tissues including human blood. The majority of blood PrPC is found within the plasma fraction. We hypothesized that the vascular endothelium could be a source of this PrPC. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that both human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) expressed PrPC mRNA. Flow cytometry confirmed PrPC expression on HMEC-1s and HUVECs (120 900 ± 15 058 and 58 327 ± 4577 molecules PrPC/cell respectively), with no upregulation following cellular activation. Confocal immunofluorescence microscopy confirmed that HMEC-1s and HUVECs were positive for PrPC on the plasma membrane. Time-resolved dissociation-enhanced fluoroimmunoassay (DELFIA®) analysis of cell culture medium demonstrated a slow constitutive release of soluble PrPC not associated with activation. In contrast to von Willebrand factor antigen, PrPC plasma levels in vivo decrease following desmopressin therapy in patients with von Willebrand disease. Measurement of PrPC plasma levels in patients with varying blood counts demonstrated no association between cell count and PrPC concentration. However, there was a higher level of PrPC in plasma from patients with end-stage renal failure. In conclusion, endothelial cells of both macrovascular and microvascular origin expressed high levels of PrPC which can be constitutively released into the cell culture medium.

JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Journal citation119 (3), pp. 863-873
ISSN0007-1048
YearDec 2002
PublisherWiley
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1046/j.1365-2141.2002.03847.x
Publication dates
PublishedDec 2002

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