The TLR9-MyD88 pathway is critical for adaptive immune responses to adeno-associated virus gene therapy vectors in mice.


Journal Article

Recombinant adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) have been used widely for in vivo gene therapy. However, adaptive immune responses to AAV have posed a significant hurdle in clinical application of AAV vectors. Recent advances have suggested a crucial role for innate immunity in shaping adaptive immune responses. How AAV activates innate immunity, and thereby promotes AAV-targeted adaptive immune responses, remains unknown. Here we show that AAV activates mouse plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) via TLR9 to produce type I IFNs. In vivo, the TLR9-MyD88 pathway was crucial to the activation of CD8+ T cell responses to both the transgene product and the AAV capsid, leading to loss of transgene expression and the generation of transgene product-specific and AAV-neutralizing antibodies. We further demonstrate that TLR9-dependent activation of adaptive immunity targeting AAV was mediated by type I IFNs and that human pDCs could be activated in vitro to induce type I IFN production via TLR9. These results reveal an essential role for the TLR9-MyD88-type I IFN pathway in induction of adaptive immune responses to AAV and suggest that strategies that interfere with this pathway may improve the outcome of AAV-mediated gene therapy in humans.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Zhu, J; Huang, X; Yang, Y

Published Date

  • August 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 119 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 2388 - 2398

PubMed ID

  • 19587448

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19587448

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-8238

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9738

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1172/JCI37607


  • eng