Evidence for oxidative stress in experimental prion disease
Oxidative stress has been shown to be important in several neurodegenerative disorders. Previous in vitro studies have already demonstrated the ability of a prion protein fragment to induce oxidative stress in cultured cells. By immunohistochemistry for nitrotyrosine (NT) and heme oxygenase-1 as markers for oxidative stress, we found widespread neuronal labeling for NT in scrapie-infected mouse brains, in agreement with peroxynitrite mediated neuronal degeneration. Damage by free radicals is a likely cause for neurodegeneration in prion disease, and antioxidants are a potential therapy of these disorders.