Persistent, therapeutically relevant levels of human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor in mice after systemic delivery of adeno-associated virus vectors.
Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors have been shown to preferentially transduce hepatocytes after systemic administration in adult mice and to provide long-term expression of introduced genes. One application of this technology would be for the production of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), which increases mature neutrophil numbers in humans and in animals, and has therapeutic effects in disorders featuring chronic neutropenia, including cyclic, severe congenital, and idiopathic neutropenia, and glycogen storage disease type Ib. We have treated mice by tail vein injection of AAV vectors encoding human G-CSF, and have detected high G-CSF levels and marked elevation of neutrophil counts for at least 5 months. A therapeutically relevant amount of G-CSF production was obtained when the liver-specific mouse albumin promoter-enhancer was used to drive G-CSF expression. In mice receiving higher amounts of vector, plasma levels of human G-CSF gradually increased over 3 weeks to high concentrations, whereas for lower amounts human G-CSF remained at initial, low levels. The previously observed effect of gamma irradiation, to increase AAV transduction rates, was diminished when large amounts of vector were used. Absolute neutrophil counts increased 10- to 50-fold for the period of observation to levels that would be therapeutic in the treatment of cyclic neutropenia. In conclusion, gene therapy with AAV vectors synthesizing G-CSF shows promise for the treatment of disorders featuring neutropenia.
Koeberl, DD; Bonham, L; Halbert, CL; Allen, JM; Birkebak, T; Miller, AD
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