Susan Valley

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)


Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD) disease is an infectious, progressive neurological disorder which results in human dementia. Synaptic membranes from various brain regions of guinea pigs and hamsters infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease show increased guanyl nucleotide mediated activation of adenylate cyclase which appears to be due to a greater coupling of stimulatory subunits (Ns) and not to a decreased coupling of inhibitory subunits (Ni) or to a change in the catalytic subunit of adenylate cyclase. In addition to the increase in Ns coupling, CJD infected membranes appear to be more fluidized than normal membranes especially in the cerebral cortex. Experiments with selected neurotransmitters and neuropeptides indicate that a subpopulation of cyclases (dopamine specific) are involved in the CJD effect. It is possible that these effects are due to the direct action of the CJD infectious agent, or a pathological product resulting from that agent, upon synaptic membrane adenylate cyclase.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access