Pathological changes in the sporadic and variant forms Of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) are spatially related to blood vessels

Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this article was to determine whether the pathological changes of Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD) were related to the brain microcirculation. Hence, the spatial correlations between the vacuolation, prion protein (PrP) deposits, and the blood vessel profiles were studied in immunolabelled sections of the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum in two subtypes of CJD, viz., sporadic CJD (sCJD) and variant CJD (vCJD). In sCJD, both the vacuolation and the ‘synaptic-type’ PrP deposits were spatially correlated with the microvessels; the PrP deposits being more strongly correlated than the vacuoles. In vCJD, there were no significant spatial correlations between either the vacuolation or the diffuse-type of PrP deposit and the microvessels. By contrast, a consistent pattern of spatial correlation was observed in gyri of the cerebral cortex between the florid PrP deposits and microvessels. In both sCJD and vCJD, the frequency of positive spatial correlations was similar in the different gyri of the cerebral cortex and in the upper compared with the lower laminae. In conclusion, the microcirculation may be more significantly involved in determining the pathological changes in sCJD than in vCJD. The spatial correlations of the florid PrP deposits in vCJD and the synaptic deposits in sCJD and the blood vessels may be attributable to factors associated with the microcirculation which enhance the aggregation of PrP molecules rather than representing a possible haematogenous spread of the disease. S
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-162
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Research Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • poradic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • vacuolation
  • prion protein deposits
  • florid plaque
  • diffuse plaque
  • microcirculation


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