Oksana Yakovleva

Red Cross, Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

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Publications (10)34.97 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The development of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in three recipients of non-leukoreduced red blood cells from asymptomatic donors who subsequently developed the disease has confirmed existing concerns about the possible spread of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) via blood products. In addition, presence of disease-associated misfolded prion protein (PrP(TSE)), generally associated with infectivity, has been demonstrated in the blood of vCJD patients. However, its origin and distribution in this biological fluid are still unknown. Various studies have identified cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) among the protein cargo in human blood-circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) released from endothelial cells and platelets, and exosomes isolated from the conditioned media of TSE-infected cells have caused the disease when injected into experimental mice. In this study, we demonstrate the detection of PrP(TSE) in EVs isolated from plasma samples collected during the pre-clinical and clinical phases of the disease from mice infected with mouse-adapted vCJD; and confirm the presence of the exosomal marker Hsp70 in these preparations.
    The Journal of biological chemistry. 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) agents have contaminated human tissue-derived medical products, human blood components, and animal vaccines. The objective of this study was to determine the potential susceptibility to infection of 5 cell lines used or proposed for manufacture of biological products, as well as other lines. Cell lines were exposed to the infectious agents of sporadic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Exposed cultures were tested for TSE-associated prion protein (PrP(TSE)) and TSE infectivity by assay in rodents and nonhuman primates. No PrP(TSE) or infectivity has been detected in any exposed cell line under study so far. Animals inoculated with BSE brain homogenate developed typical spongiform encephalopathy. In contrast, animals inoculated with cells exposed to the BSE agent remained asymptomatic. All cell lines we studied resisted infection with 3 TSE agents, including the BSE agent.
    Emerging Infectious Diseases 12/2011; 17(12):2262-9. · 6.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) were infected experimentally with the agent of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Two to four years later, six of the monkeys developed alterations in interactive behaviour and cognition and other neurological signs typical of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). At necropsy examination, the brains from all of the monkeys showed pathological changes similar to those described in variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) of man, except that the squirrel monkey brains contained no PrP-amyloid plaques typical of that disease. Constant neuropathological features included spongiform degeneration, gliosis, deposition of abnormal prion protein (PrP(TSE)) and many deposits of abnormally phosphorylated tau protein (p-Tau) in several areas of the cerebrum and cerebellum. Western blots showed large amounts of proteinase K-resistant prion protein in the central nervous system. The striking absence of PrP plaques (prominent in brains of cynomolgus macaques [Macaca fascicularis] with experimentally-induced BSE and vCJD and in human patients with vCJD) reinforces the conclusion that the host plays a major role in determining the neuropathology of TSEs. Results of this study suggest that p-Tau, found in the brains of all BSE-infected monkeys, might play a role in the pathogenesis of TSEs. Whether p-Tau contributes to development of disease or appears as a secondary change late in the course of illness remains to be determined.
    Journal of comparative pathology 10/2011; 147(1):84-93. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The possible risk of iatrogenic transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, prion diseases) from transplantation of marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is uncertain. While most cell lines resist infection, a few propagate TSE agents. We generated MSC-like (MSC-L) cell cultures from bone marrow (BM) of mice inoculated with the human-derived Fukuoka-1 (Fu) strain of TSE agent. Cultured cells were characterized for various markers and cellular prion protein (PrP(C) ) by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and for PrP(C) and its pathologic TSE-associated form (PrP(TSE) ) by Western blotting (WB). Cell cultures were tested for their susceptibility to infection with Fu in vitro. The infectivity of one Fu-infected cell culture was assayed in mice. BM cells from Fu-infected mice expressed neither PrP(C) nor PrP(TSE) after 3 days in culture as demonstrated by WB. Cells adherent to plastic and maintained under two different culture conditions became spontaneously immortalized and began to express PrP(C) at about the same time. One culture became transformed shortly after exposure to Fu in vitro and remained persistently infected, continuously generating PrP(TSE) through multiple passages; the infectivity of cultured cells was confirmed by intracerebral inoculation of lysates into mice. Both persistently TSE-infected and uninfected cells expressed a number of typical MSC markers. BM-derived MSC-L cells of mice became persistently infected with the Fu agent under certain conditions in culture-conditions that differ substantially from those currently used to develop investigational human stem cell therapies.
    Transfusion 02/2011; 51(8):1755-68. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transmission of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs)/prion diseases through transplantation of bone marrow (BM) has never been reported in humans. However, the use of fetal bovine serum in current protocols for generating mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) carries the risk of iatrogenic spread. We developed a cell model from murine BM-derived MSCs and tested its susceptibility to Fukuoka-1 (Fu) strain of TSEs. The adherent cells expressed significant levels of normal prion protein, PrPC, at the time when they became immortalized. The cell culture underwent spontaneous transformation following inoculation with Fu-infected brain homogenate and became persistently infected after reinoculation with Fu agent. Extensive analysis of the original and two Fu-exposed cell cultures revealed a phenotype characteristic of MSCs with a majority of cells being positive for stem cell antigen, Sca-1. Taken together, our results demonstrate that BM-derived MSCs can be infected with TSE agents under certain conditions ex vivo. Comprehensive studies should be undertaken to address the safety of cell-based therapies in regard to iatrogenic transmission of TSEs. BM-derived cell cultures can be used for studies of molecular mechanisms underlying the cells' susceptibility to various strains of TSEs, their propagation ex vivo, and for screening of potential anti-TSEs therapeutics.
    Folia neuropathologica / Association of Polish Neuropathologists and Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences 02/2009; 47(2):205-14. · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) through blood transfusions has created new concerns about the iatrogenic spread of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs)/prion diseases through blood and plasma-derived products and has increased the need to develop efficient methods for detection of the agent in biologics. Here, we report the first successful generation of spleen-derived murine stromal cell cultures that persistently propagate two mouse-adapted isolates of human TSE agents, mouse-adapted vCJD, and Fukuoka 1. These new cell cultures can be used efficiently for studies of the pathogenesis of the disease, for development of diagnostics and therapeutics, and as a rapid ex vivo assay for TSE inactivation/removal procedures.
    Journal of Virology 09/2008; 82(21):10959-62. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres) in spontaneous lymphoreticular tumors of mice infected with the agent of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). PrPres may accumulate in lymphoreticular system tumors of asymptomatic persons with vCJD. The statistical power of estimates of vCJD prevalence might be increased by expanding screening to include samples of lymphoreticular neoplasms.
    Emerging infectious diseases 04/2006; 12(3):511-3. · 5.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The emergence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and of a probable transmission of the disease through blood transfusion from a presymptomatic case has underlined the need for a reliable, sensitive, and specific screening test. This study was initiated to explain why attempts to identify protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres) following treatment with proteinase K (PK) in blood or blood components have so far failed. RIII mice were inoculated intracerebrally (i.c.) with vCJD agent. As soon as some mice became ill, blood from all mice was collected, pooled, and separated into components. Aliquots of plasma were treated with either 100 and 500 microg per mL PK or left untreated. Samples were analyzed for total protein and for PrPres by Western blot with 6H4 antibodies. Infectivity in PK-treated and untreated samples was bioassayed by i.c. inoculation into healthy mice. Estimated infectivity in untreated control plasma was 20.6 IU per mL. Treatment of plasma with 100 or 500 microg per mL PK resulted in estimated infectivity levels of 8.4 and 5.2 IU per mL, respectively. Coomassie staining revealed substantial changes in the protein profile after PK treatment, with massive degradation of proteins at 500 microg per mL PK. No PrPres was detected in plasma samples by Western blotting. Infectivity in plasma of vCJD-infected mice showed a trend toward reduction following enzymatic treatment with increasing doses of PK, possibly because of activity against proteolysis-sensitive isoforms of abnormal prion protein. It is concluded that the use of PK in protocols for the detection of PrPres may decrease the sensitivity of blood-based assays.
    Transfusion 01/2005; 44(12):1700-5. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The possible transmission of variant CJD (vCJD) through blood transfusion or use of plasma-derived products prompted this study comparing infectivity in murine models of vCJD and Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS) disease, a non-vCJD form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). RIII/Fa/Dk (RIII) or Swiss-Webster (Swiss) mice were inoculated intracerebrally (IC) with mouse-adapted strains of vCJD or GSS (Fukuoka-1) of similar infectivity. Groups of RIII mice were euthanized 17 weeks after inoculation (during the incubation period), and another 23 weeks after inoculation (when symptomatic). Blood was collected, separated into components, and inoculated into groups of healthy mice; brains and spleens from all mice were harvested and tested for the presence of PrPres by Western blot using 6H4 MoAb. Levels of 20-30 infectious doses per mL were present in buffy coat and plasma during both the incubation and symptomatic stages of disease; PLT pellet infectivity was lower (10 ID/mL) and RBCs were not infectious. The disease was transmitted more efficiently by IV than IC inoculation of plasma, but there was no difference observed with inoculation of buffy coat. The incubation period was shorter after IC inoculation of GSS- than vCJD-brain inocula. The amount of PrPres in spleens was similar for both TSE agents, but was slightly lower in brains of vCJD than GSS mice. Infectivity was detected in blood components of mice infected with a human-derived strain of vCJD during both the preclinical and clinical phases of disease in a similarly low range of concentrations as in mice infected with a human-derived nonvariant strain (GSS, Fukuoka-1). Other measures of virulence, including brain infectivity titers, incubation periods, and the accumulation of PrPres in spleens and brains, were also comparable in both experimental models.
    Transfusion 01/2004; 43(12):1687-94. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The emergence of a new environmentally caused variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), the result of food-born infection by the causative agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), has stimulated research on a practical diagnostic screening test. The immunocompetitive capillary electrophoresis (ICCE) assay has been reported to detect disease-specific, proteinase-resistant prion protein (PrPres) in the blood of scrapie-infected sheep. We have applied this method to blood from CJD-infected chimpanzees and humans. The threshold of detection achieved with our ICCE was 0.6 nM of synthetic peptide corresponding to the prion protein (PrP) C-terminus, and 2 nM of recombinant human PrP at the optimized conditions. However, the test was unable to distinguish between extracts of leucocytes from healthy and CJD-infected chimpanzees, and from healthy human donors and patients affected with various forms of CJD. Thus, the ICCE assay as presently performed is not suitable for use as a screening test in human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).
    Electrophoresis 04/2003; 24(5):853-9. · 3.26 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

158 Citations
34.97 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • Red Cross
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2005
    • National Institutes of Health
      Maryland, United States