Forsøksdyr: Investigating the role of PrP in caprine cells

Godkjenningsdato 25.01.2018

Godkjenningsperiode 25.01.2018-25.09.2018

The prion protein (PrP) is known due to its crucial role in the development of prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, scrapie in sheep and goats, chronic wasting disease in cervids and "Cow Madness" (bovine spongiform encephalopahty, BSE) in cattle.
PrP's normal function is not known by detail, but it has been shown in previous studies that it might serve a protecting role during inflammation and immune repsonses in various tissues, not only the nervous system. With this experiment, we aim to explore the function of PrP as regulator of inflammation and immune signaling using cells from goats naturally devoid of the protein.
By comparing cells with and without PrP, we can gain knowledge about the differences caused by a
natural absence/presence of PrP. We will use Norwegian Dairy Goats, as these are the only known animal with a natural lack of PrP. We are planning to sample skin puncture biopsies from 12 goats.
It is important to empasize that even if the research will be performed in goats, the results obtained will be beneficial for all animals, including humans. The importance of knowledge about chronic inflammatory diseases is great, and is also crucial for development of treatments.
In any kind of animal experiment, compliance with "The three R's" is crucial. We aim to do this by replacing animals with cell cultures to the extent possible, meaning that we will need to harvest cells from animals in order to get the start up cultures (as it currently doesn't exist any cell lines naturally without PrP).
With this, we also refine the method. By performing the experiment in vitro in stead of in vivo, we limit the exposure of the animals to stress associated with excessive handling and avoid the induction of inflammation in the animals.
In addition to this, the amount of animals needed is also reduced, as we can replicate the experiment to a much higher extent as opposed to using the same number of animals in vivo.