A single injection of an Adeno-associated virus vector into nuclei with divergent connections results in widespread vector distribution in the brain and global correction of a neurogenetic disease
ABSTRACT Neurogenetic disorders typically affect cells throughout the brain. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-mediated transfer of a normal cDNA can correct the metabolic defects at the site of injection, but treatment of the entire brain requires widespread delivery of the normal gene and/or protein. Current methods require multiple injections for widespread distribution. However, some AAV vectors can be transported along neuronal pathways associated with the injected region. Thus, targeting widely dispersed systems in the CNS might be a pathway for gene dispersal from a limited number of sites. We tested this hypothesis in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a region with numerous efferent and afferent projections. A single 1 mul injection resulted in transport of the vector genome to projection sites in distal parts of the brain. When compared with injections into the striatum, the VTA injection resulted in higher enzyme levels in more regions of the brain. The AAV-9 serotype vector was the most widely disseminated, but AAV-Rh.10 and AAV-1 were also transported after VTA injection. The effect on global lesions of a neurogenetic disease was tested in the mouse model of MPS VII (mucopolysaccharidosis VII), a lysosomal storage disorder. Widespread distribution of the vector genome after AAV-9 VTA injection resulted in even further distribution of the enzyme product, by secretion and uptake by surrounding cells, and complete correction of the storage lesions throughout the entire brain. This unprecedented level of correction from a single injection into the developed brain provides a potential strategy to correct a large volume of brain while minimizing the number of injections.
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ABSTRACT: Virus infections usually begin in peripheral tissues and can invade the mammalian nervous system (NS), spreading into the peripheral (PNS) and more rarely the central (CNS) nervous systems. The CNS is protected from most virus infections by effective immune responses and multilayer barriers. However, some viruses enter the NS with high efficiency via the bloodstream or by directly infecting nerves that innervate peripheral tissues, resulting in debilitating direct and immune-mediated pathology. Most viruses in the NS are opportunistic or accidental pathogens, but a few, most notably the alpha herpesviruses and rabies virus, have evolved to enter the NS efficiently and exploit neuronal cell biology. Remarkably, the alpha herpesviruses can establish quiescent infections in the PNS, with rare but often fatal CNS pathology. Here we review how viruses gain access to and spread in the well-protected CNS, with particular emphasis on alpha herpesviruses, which establish and maintain persistent NS infections.Cell host & microbe 04/2013; 13(4):379-93. DOI:10.1016/j.chom.2013.03.010 · 12.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The activation of proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in different regions of the brain, including the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC) and the nucleus of the solitary tract curtails feeding and attenuates body weight. In this study, we compared the effects of delivery of a recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) construct encoding POMC to the ARC with delivery to the ventral tegmental area (VTA). F344×Brown Norway rats were high-fat (HF) fed for 14 days after which self-complementary rAAV constructs expressing either green fluorescent protein or the POMC gene were injected using coordinates targeting either the VTA or the ARC. Corresponding increased POMC levels were found at the predicted injection sites and subsequent α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone levels were observed. Food intake and body weight were measured for 4 months. Although caloric intake was unaltered by POMC overexpression, weight gain was tempered with POMC overexpression in either the VTA or the ARC compared with controls. There were parallel decreases in adipose tissue reserves. In addition, levels of oxygen consumption and brown adipose tissue uncoupling protein 1 were significantly elevated with POMC treatment in the VTA. Interestingly, tyrosine hydroxylase levels were increased in both the ARC and VTA with POMC overexpression in either the ARC or the VTA. In conclusion, these data indicate a role for POMC overexpression within the VTA reward center to combat HF-induced obesity.Journal of Endocrinology 05/2011; 210(2):199-207. DOI:10.1530/JOE-10-0418 · 3.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD) is a devastating lysosomal storage disease caused by deficiency of the enzyme galactocerebrosidase (GALC). Currently, there is no definite cure for GLD. Several attempts with CNS-directed gene therapy in twitcher mice (a murine model of GLD) demonstrated restricted expression of GALC activity in CNS and failure of therapeutic efficacy in cerebellum and spinal cord, resulting in various degrees of correction of biochemical, pathological and clinical phenotype. More recently, twitcher mice receiving a combination of hematopoietic and viral vector gene transfer therapies were not protected from neurodegeneration and axonopathy in both cerebellum and spinal cord. This evidence indicates the requirement of sufficient and widespread GALC expression in CNS and rescue of cerebellum and spinal cord in the therapeutic intervention of murine model of GLD. In this study, we have optimized intracranial delivery of AAV2/5-GALC to the neocortex, hippocampus and cerebellum, instead of the thalamus as was previously conducted, of twitcher mice. The CNS-targeted AAV2/5 gene transfer effectively dispersed GALC transgene along the neuraxis of CNS as far as the lumbar spinal cord, and reduced the accumulation of psychosine in the CNS of twitcher mice. Most importantly, the treated twitcher mice were protected from loss of oligodendrocytes and Purkinje cells, axonopathy and marked gliosis, and had significantly improved neuromotor function and prolonged lifespan. These preclinical findings with our approach are encouraging, although a more robust response in the spinal cord would be desirable. Collectively, the information in this study validates the efficacy of this gene delivery approach to correct enzymatic deficiency, psychosine accumulation and neuropathy in CNS of GLD. Combining cell therapy such as bone marrow transplantation with treatment with the aim of reducing inflammation, replacing dead or dying oligodendrocytes and targeting PNS may provide a synergistic and more complete correction of this disease.Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 05/2011; 103(4):367-77. DOI:10.1016/j.ymgme.2011.05.005 · 2.83 Impact Factor