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: The chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) is a monocyte chemoattractant protein that mediates macrophage recruitment and migration during peripheral and central nervous system (CNS) inflammation. To determine the impact of CCL2 in inflammation in vivo and to elucidate the CCL2-induced polarization of activated brain microglia, we delivered CCL2 into the brains of wild-type mice via recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (rAAV-9) driven by the chicken beta-actin promoter. We measured microglial activation using histological and chemical measurement and recruitment of monocytes using histology and flow cytometry. The overexpression of CCL2 in the CNS induced significant activation of brain resident microglia. CD45 and major histocompatibility complex class II immunoreactivity significantly increased at the sites of CCL2 administration. Histological characterization of the microglial phenotype revealed the elevation of "classically activated" microglial markers, such as calgranulin B and IL-1beta, as well as markers associated with "alternative activation" of microglia, including YM1 and arginase 1. The protein expression profile in the hippocampus demonstrated markedly increased levels of IL-6, GM-CSF and eotaxin (CCL-11) in response to CCL2, but no changes in the levels of other cytokines, including TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma. Moreover, real-time PCR analysis confirmed increases in mRNA levels of gene transcripts associated with neuroinflammation following CCL2 overexpression. Finally, we investigated the chemotactic properties of CCL2 in vivo by performing adoptive transfer of bone marrow--derived cells (BMDCs) isolated from donor mice that ubiquitously expressed green fluorescent protein. Flow cytometry and histological analyses indicated that BMDCs extravasated into brain parenchyma and colabeled with microglial markers. Taken together, our results suggest that CCL2 strongly activates resident microglia in the brain. Both pro- and anti-inflammatory activation of microglia were prominent, with no bias toward the M1 or M2 phenotype in the activated cells. As expected, CCL2 overexpression actively recruited circulating monocytes into the CNS. Thus, CCL2 expression in mouse brain induces microglial activation and represents an efficient method for recruitment of peripheral macrophages.Journal of Neuroinflammation 07/2013; 10(1):86. · 4.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Adeno-associated virus (AAV) mediated gene expression is a powerful tool for gene therapy and preclinical studies. A comprehensive analysis of CNS cell type tropism, expression levels and biodistribution of different capsid serotypes has not yet been undertaken in neonatal rodents. Our previous studies show that intracerebroventricular injection with AAV2/1 on neonatal day P0 results in widespread CNS expression but the biodistribution is limited if injected beyond neonatal day P1. To extend these observations we explored the effect of timing of injection on tropism and biodistribution of six commonly used pseudotyped AAVs delivered in the cerebral ventricles of neonatal mice. We demonstrate that AAV2/8 and 2/9 resulted in the most widespread biodistribution in the brain. Most serotypes showed varying biodistribution depending on the day of injection. Injection on neonatal day P0 resulted in mostly neuronal transduction, whereas administration in later periods of development (24-84 hours postnatal) resulted in more non-neuronal transduction. AAV2/5 showed widespread transduction of astrocytes irrespective of the time of injection. None of the serotypes tested showed any microglial transduction. This study demonstrates that both capsid serotype and timing of injection influence the regional and cell-type distribution of AAV in neonatal rodents, and emphasizes the utility of pseudotyped AAV vectors for translational gene therapy paradigms.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e67680. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In the vast majority of studies utilizing adeno-associated virus (AAV) in central nervous system applications, including those published with spinal cord injury (SCI) models, AAV has been administered at the level of the cell body of neurons targeted for genetic modification, resulting in transduction of neurons in the vicinity of the injection site. However, as SCI interrupts many axon tracts, it may be more beneficial to transduce a diverse pool of supraspinal neurons. We determined if descending axons severed by SCI are capable of retrogradely transporting AAV to remotely transduce a variety of brain regions. Different AAV serotypes encoding the reporter green fluorescent protein (GFP) were injected into gray and white matter immediately rostral to a spinal transection site. This resulted in the transduction of thousands of neurons within the spinal cord and in multiple regions within the brainstem that project to spinal cord. In addition, we established that different serotypes had disparate regional specificity and that AAV5 transduced the most brain and spinal cord neurons. This is the first demonstration that retrograde transport of AAV by axons severed by SCI is an effective means to transduce a collection of supraspinal neurons. Thus, we identify a novel, minimally invasive means to transduce a variety of neuronal populations within both the spinal cord and the brain following SCI. This paradigm to broadly distribute viral vectors has the potential to be an important component of a combinatorial strategy to promote functional axonal regeneration.Molecular Therapy-Nucleic Acids (2013) 2, e108; doi:10.1038/mtna.2013.34; published online 23 July 2013.Molecular therapy. Nucleic acids. 01/2013; 2:e108.