Prion spread in brain tissue - diffusional aspects

Franziska Matthaeus
ICM, Warsaw University

Scrapie prion proteins are believed to cause BSE and the variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease by converting cellular prion protein into new scrapie prion, which has a tendency to interact and form oligomers or even large plaques. Various models have appeared in the literature describing the global propagation in time, no model so far accounts for spatial effects.

After entering the brain, scrapie prions may spread by at least two ways: by diffusion on one hand and by neuronal transport on the other. In this talk I would like to focus on diffusional spread and present results of various simulations combining models of prion-prion interaction with a diffusion process. The simulations include homogeneous diffusion as well as inhomogeneous diffusion, effects of the distribution of cellular prion and phenomena at tissue borders.