: Brucella ceti, a zoonotic pathogen of major concern to cetacean health and conservation, is responsible for severe meningo-encephalitic/myelitic lesions in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), often leading to their stranding and death. This study investigated, for the first time, the cellular prion protein (PrPc) expression in the brain tissue from B. ceti-infected, neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins. Seven B. ceti-infected, neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins, found stranded along the Italian coastline (6) and in the Canary Islands (1), were investigated, along with five B. ceti-uninfected striped dolphins from the coast of Italy, carrying no brain lesions, which served as negative controls. Western Blot (WB) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) with an anti-PrP murine monoclonal antibody were carried out on the brain parenchyma of these dolphins. While PrPc IHC yielded inconclusive results, a clear-cut PrPc expression of different intensity was found by means of WB analyses in the brain tissue of all the seven herein investigated, B. ceti-infected and neurobrucellosis-affected cetacean specimens, with two dolphins stranded along the Italian coastline and one dolphin beached in Canary Islands also exhibiting a statistically significant increase in cerebral PrPc expression as compared to the five Brucella spp.-negative control specimens. The significantly increased PrPc expression found in three out of seven B. ceti-infected, neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins does not allow us to draw any firm conclusion(s) about the putative role of PrPc as a host cell receptor for B. ceti. Should this be the case, an upregulation of PrPc mRNA in the brain tissue of neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins could be hypothesized during the different stages of B. ceti infection, as previously shown in murine bone marrow cells challenged with Escherichia coli. Noteworthy, the inflammatory infiltrates seen in the brain and in the cervico-thoracic spinal cord segments from the herein investigated, B. ceti-infected and neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins were densely populated by macrophage/histiocyte cells, often harboring Brucella spp. antigen in their cytoplasm, similarly to what was reported in macrophages from mice experimentally challenged with B. abortus. Notwithstanding the above, much more work is needed in order to properly assess the role of PrPc, if any, as a host cell receptor for B. ceti in striped dolphins.

Cellular Prion Protein Expression in the Brain Tissue from Brucella ceti-Infected Striped Dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba)

Grattarola, Carla
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Mazzariol, Sandro
Funding Acquisition
;
Di Guardo, Giovanni
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2022

Abstract

: Brucella ceti, a zoonotic pathogen of major concern to cetacean health and conservation, is responsible for severe meningo-encephalitic/myelitic lesions in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), often leading to their stranding and death. This study investigated, for the first time, the cellular prion protein (PrPc) expression in the brain tissue from B. ceti-infected, neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins. Seven B. ceti-infected, neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins, found stranded along the Italian coastline (6) and in the Canary Islands (1), were investigated, along with five B. ceti-uninfected striped dolphins from the coast of Italy, carrying no brain lesions, which served as negative controls. Western Blot (WB) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) with an anti-PrP murine monoclonal antibody were carried out on the brain parenchyma of these dolphins. While PrPc IHC yielded inconclusive results, a clear-cut PrPc expression of different intensity was found by means of WB analyses in the brain tissue of all the seven herein investigated, B. ceti-infected and neurobrucellosis-affected cetacean specimens, with two dolphins stranded along the Italian coastline and one dolphin beached in Canary Islands also exhibiting a statistically significant increase in cerebral PrPc expression as compared to the five Brucella spp.-negative control specimens. The significantly increased PrPc expression found in three out of seven B. ceti-infected, neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins does not allow us to draw any firm conclusion(s) about the putative role of PrPc as a host cell receptor for B. ceti. Should this be the case, an upregulation of PrPc mRNA in the brain tissue of neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins could be hypothesized during the different stages of B. ceti infection, as previously shown in murine bone marrow cells challenged with Escherichia coli. Noteworthy, the inflammatory infiltrates seen in the brain and in the cervico-thoracic spinal cord segments from the herein investigated, B. ceti-infected and neurobrucellosis-affected striped dolphins were densely populated by macrophage/histiocyte cells, often harboring Brucella spp. antigen in their cytoplasm, similarly to what was reported in macrophages from mice experimentally challenged with B. abortus. Notwithstanding the above, much more work is needed in order to properly assess the role of PrPc, if any, as a host cell receptor for B. ceti in striped dolphins.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3449921
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