In the cerebral cortex of cases of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), the vacuolation (spongiform change) and PrP deposits are aggregated into clusters which are regularly distributed parallel to the pia mater. The objective of the present study was to determine the spatial relationships between the clusters of the vacuoles and PrP deposits and between the pathological changes and variations in the density of surviving neurons. In areas with low densities of pathological change, clusters of vacuoles were spatially correlated with the surviving neurons and not with the PrP deposits. By contrast, in more significantly affected areas, clusters of vacuoles were spatially correlated with those of the PrP deposits and not with the surviving neurons. In addition, areas with a high density of vacuoles and a low density of PrP deposits exhibited no spatial correlations between the variables. These data suggest that the spatial relationships between the vacuolation, PrP deposits and surviving neurons in sCJD depend on the density of lesions present. Differences in the pattern of correlation may reflect the developmental stage of the pathology in particular cortical areas.
- cerebral cortex
- prion protein deposition
- spatial pattern
- sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- surviving neurons