Free Editor Choice: Gene Therapy for Hurler Disease

Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 12.00.02 PMBackground: Hurler disease (mucopolysaccharidosis type I [MPS-I]) is an inherited metabolic disorder characterized by deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme α-L-iduronidase (IDUA). Currently, the only therapies for MPS-I, enzyme replacement and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, are generally ineffective for central nervous system manifestations.

Objective: To test whether brain-targeted gene therapy with recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV5)-IDUA vectors in an MPS-I transgenic mouse model would reverse the pathological hallmarks.

Methods: Gene therapy approaches were compared using intraventricular or endovascular delivery with a marker (rAAV5-green fluorescent protein) or therapeutic (rAAV5-IDUA) vector. To improve the efficiency of brain delivery, we tested different applications of hyperosmolar mannitol to disrupt the blood-brain barrier or ependymal-brain interface.

Results: Intraventricular delivery of 1 × 1011 viral particles of rAAV5-IDUA with systemic 5 g/kg mannitol co-administration resulted in IDUA expression throughout the brain, with global enzyme activity >200% of the baseline level in age-matched, wild-type mice. Endovascular delivery of 1 × 1012 viral particles of rAAV5-IDUA to the carotid artery with 29.1% mannitol blood-brain barrier disruption resulted in mainly ipsilateral brain IDUA expression and ipsilateral brain enzyme activity 42% of that in wild-type mice. Quantitative assays for glycosaminoglycans showed a significant decrease in both hemispheres after intraventricular delivery and in the ipsilateral hemisphere after endovascular delivery compared with untreated MPS-I mice. Immunohistochemistry for ganglioside GM3, another disease marker, showed reversal of neuronal inclusions in areas with IDUA co-expression in both delivery methods.

Conclusion: Physiologically relevant biochemical correction is possible with neurosurgical or endovascular gene therapy approaches for MPS-I. Intraventricular or endovascular delivery of rAAV5-IDUA was effective in reversing brain pathology, but in the latter method, effects were limited to the ipsilateral hemisphere.

From: Comparison of Endovascular and Intraventricular Gene Therapy With Adeno-Associated Virus–α-L-Iduronidase for Hurler Disease by Janson et al.

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