Our laboratory has identified an X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (XSCID) in dogs that is the result of mutations in the common gamma chain (gammac) subunit of the interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, IL-7, IL-9, IL-15, and IL-21 receptors. Canine XSCID, unlike genetically engineered gammac-deficient mice, has a clinical and immunologic phenotype virtually identical to human XSCID, suggesting species-specific differences exist in the role of the gammac and its associated cytokines in mice in comparison to their role in humans and dogs. This review compares and contrasts thymopoiesis and postnatal T cell development in gammac-deficient (XSCID) dogs raised in a conventional environment, with gammac-deficient dogs raised in a gnotobiotic environment. Therapy to accelerate T cell regeneration following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation or gene therapy is also discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gnotobiotic animals are highly valued for the study of infectious diseases wherein the clinical signs and lesions of disease can be directly related to host-pathogen interactions and not to the additive effects of environmental influences and other confounding factors. Gnotobiotic dogs have been used to study the pathogenesis of acquired immunodeficiencies associated with canine distemper virus (CDV). In recent years, the laboratory at OSU, in conjunction with University of Pennsylvania personnel have begun a series of long-term studies of dogs affected with the canine X chromosome-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (XSCID) syndrome. This fatal inherited defect is caused by mutation in the common gamma chain (IL2RG) gene and renders affected animals profoundly immunodeficient. XSCIDs dogs, raised within a gnotobiotic environment for up to 3 years remain clinically healthy and are, in every respect normal except for the persistent T-cell defect and the failure to develop lymph nodes. Bone marrow transplantation (unfractionated or enriched for CD34+ stem cells) is the treatment of choice for both the XSCID dogs and male human infants affected with this syndrome. In preliminary studies, we have shown that human CD34+ stem cells colonized XSCIDs-affected gnotobiotic dogs, migrated to the thymus and demonstrated post-thymic activation (CD45RA+ phenotype) in peripheral blood. While many issues are unresolved, these data suggest that, through the use of the gnotobiotic environment, xenotransplantation (human-to-dog) may yield a stable and immunologically functional human-dog chimera.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (XSCID) is characterized by profound immunodeficiency and early mortality, the only potential cure being hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation or gene therapy. Current clinical gene therapy protocols targeting HSCs are based upon ex vivo gene transfer, potentially limited by the adequacy of HSC harvest, transduction efficiencies of repopulating HSCs, and the potential loss of their engraftment potential during ex vivo culture. We demonstrate an important proof of principle by showing achievement of durable immune reconstitution in XSCID dogs following intravenous injection of concentrated RD114-pseudotyped retrovirus vector encoding the corrective gene, the interleukin-2 receptor gamma chain (gamma c). In 3 of 4 dogs treated, normalization of numbers and function of T cells were observed. Two long-term-surviving animals (16 and 18 months) showed significant marking of B lymphocytes and myeloid cells, normalization of IgG levels, and protective humoral immune response to immunization. There were no adverse effects from in vivo gene therapy, and in one dog that reached sexual maturity, sparing of gonadal tissue from gene transfer was demonstrated. This is the first demonstration that in vivo gene therapy targeting HSCs can restore both cellular and humoral immunity in a large-animal model of a fatal immunodeficiency.
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