Abnormal prion protein deposits with high seeding activities in the skeletal muscle, femoral nerve, and scalp of an autopsied case of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.


Honda H(1), Mori S(1)(2), Watanabe A(3), Sasagasako N(3), Sadashima S(1), Đồng T(4), Satoh K(4), Nishida N(5), Iwaki T(1).
Author information:
(1)Department of Neuropathology, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.
(2)Department of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan.
(3)Department of Neurology, Neuro-Muscular Center, National Omuta Hospital, Omuta, Japan.
(4)Department of Locomotive Rehabilitation Science, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan.
(5)Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan.


We report the general autopsy findings of abnormal prion protein (PrP) deposits with their seeding activities, as assessed by the real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) method, in a 72-year-old female patient with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD). At 68 years of age, she presented with gait disturbance and visual disorders. Electroencephalography showed periodic synchronous discharge. Myoclonus was also observed. A genetic test revealed that PRNP codon 129 was methionine/methionine (MM). She died of pneumonia three years and four months after disease onset, and a general autopsy was performed. The brain weighed 650 g and appeared markedly atrophic. Immunohistochemistry for PrP revealed synaptic PrP deposits and coarse PrP deposits in the cerebral cortices, basal ganglia, cerebellum, and brainstem. Western blot analysis identified type 1 proteinase-K-resistant PrP in frontal cortex samples. PrP deposits were also observed in systemic organs, including the femoral nerve, psoas major muscle, abdominal skin, adrenal medulla, zona reticularis of the adrenal gland, islet cells of the pancreas, and thyroid gland. The RT-QuIC method revealed positive seeding activities in all examined organs, including the frontal cortex, femoral nerve, psoas major muscle, scalp, abdominal skin, adrenal gland, pancreas, and thyroid gland. The following 50% seeding dose (SD50 ) values were 9.5 (frontal cortex); 8 ± 0.53 (femoral nerve); 7 ± 0.53 (psoas major muscle); and 7.88 ± 0.17 (scalp). The SD50 values for the adrenal gland, dermis, pancreas, and thyroid gland were 6.12 ± 0.53, 5.25, 4.75, and 4.5, respectively. PrP deposits in general organs may be associated with long-term disease duration. This case indicated the necessity for general autopsies in sCJD cases to establish strict infection control procedures for surgical treatment and to examine certain organs.