Heather R Bender

Learn More
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting captive and free-ranging cervids. Currently, tests for CWD in live animals involve relatively invasive procedures to collect lymphoid tissue biopsies and examine them for CWD-associated, protease-resistant cervid prion protein (PrP(CWD)) detected by immunohistochemistry(More)
BACKGROUND Recent advances toward an effective therapy for prion diseases employ RNA interference to suppress PrP(C) expression and subsequent prion neuropathology, exploiting the phenomenon that disease severity and progression correlate with host PrP(C) expression levels. However, delivery of lentivirus encoding PrP shRNA has demonstrated only modest(More)
While prions probably interact with the innate immune system immediately following infection, little is known about this initial confrontation. Here we investigated incunabular events in lymphotropic and intranodal prion trafficking by following highly enriched, fluorescent prions from infection sites to draining lymph nodes. We detected biphasic(More)
Accumulating evidence shows a critical role of the complement system in facilitating attachment of prions to both B cells and follicular dendritic cells and assisting in prion replication. Complement activation intensifies disease in prion-infected animals, and elimination of complement components inhibits prion accumulation, replication and pathogenesis.(More)
The complement system has been shown to facilitate peripheral prion pathogenesis. Mice lacking complement receptors CD21/35 partially resist terminal prion disease when infected i.p. with mouse-adapted scrapie prions. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an emerging prion disease of captive and free-ranging cervid populations that, similar to scrapie, has been(More)
Previously, Multimer Detection System (MDS) detected scrapie infected lambs of 8 mo age at pre-clinical stage in comparison with the normal controls. Above lamb were born from scrapie infected parent sheep (VRQ/VRQ). Here, MDS was challenged twice blindly with scrapie sheep blood samples from pre-clinical stages. These sheep showed no symptoms and they died(More)
Prions, the infectious agent of scrapie, chronic wasting disease and other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, are misfolded proteins that are highly stable and resistant to degradation. Prions are known to associate with clay and other soil components, enhancing their persistence and surprisingly, transmissibility. Currently, few detection and(More)
Substantial evidence supports the hypothesis that prions are misfolded, infectious, insoluble, and protease-resistant proteins (PrPRES) devoid of instructional nucleic acid that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) has provided additional evidence that PrPRes acts as a template that can(More)
Prion diseases result from the misfolding of the normal, cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to an abnormal protease resistant isomer called PrP(Res). The emergence of prion diseases in wildlife populations and their increasing threat to human health has led to increased efforts to find a treatment for these diseases. Recent studies have found numerous(More)
  • 1