Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy

Systemic administration of a recombinant AAV1 vector encoding IGF-1 improves disease manifestations in SMA mice.

PMID 24814151


Spinal muscular atrophy is a progressive motor neuron disease caused by a deficiency of survival motor neuron. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of intravenous administration of a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV1) vector encoding human insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in a severe mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy. Measurable quantities of human IGF-1 transcripts and protein were detected in the liver (up to 3 months postinjection) and in the serum indicating that IGF-1 was secreted from the liver into systemic circulation. Spinal muscular atrophy mice administered AAV1-IGF-1 on postnatal day 1 exhibited a lower extent of motor neuron degeneration, cardiac and muscle atrophy as well as a greater extent of innervation at the neuromuscular junctions compared to untreated controls at day 8 posttreatment. Importantly, treatment with AAV1-IGF-1 prolonged the animals' lifespan, increased their body weights and improved their motor coordination. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analyses showed that AAV1-mediated expression of IGF-1 led to an increase in survival motor neuron transcript and protein levels in the spinal cord, brain, muscles, and heart. These data indicate that systemically delivered AAV1-IGF-1 can correct several of the biochemical and behavioral deficits in spinal muscular atrophy mice through increasing tissue levels of survival motor neuron.