Retinopathy in mice with experimental scrapie

Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 1986 Mar-Apr;12(2):185-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2990.1986.tb00049.x.


Scrapie is a naturally occurring neurological disease of adult sheep and goats with an incubation period of several years. Some strains of the causal agent can infect laboratory mice in which the incubation period, as well as the severity and distribution of vacuolar degeneration in the brain, varies according to the strain of the agent and the genotype of the mouse. Retinopathy, involving the partial or complete loss of the photoreceptor layer, was observed in a number of murine scrapie models but was absent in others. The severity of retinopathy depended on both the strain of scrapie and the genotype of mouse used. Some scrapie strains (22C, 87A and 87V) produced minimal or no retinal pathology, others (ME7, 22A and 22L) produced changes in the retinae of only certain mouse genotypes, while the strains 79A and 139A produced degeneration of the photoreceptor layer in every mouse genotype investigated. The severity of retinopathy in the various models did not correlate with the overall intensity of vacuolar degeneration in the brain, with the severity of vacuolation in the centres in the brain controlling pupillary constriction, or with the incubation period.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Retina / pathology*
  • Scrapie / pathology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Vacuoles