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

Intra-amniotic rAAV-mediated microdystrophin gene transfer improves canine X-linked muscular dystrophy and may induce immune tolerance.

PMID 25586688


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe congenital disease due to mutations in the dystrophin gene. Supplementation of dystrophin using recombinant adenoassociated virus vector has promise as a treatment of DMD, although therapeutic benefit of the truncated dystrophin still remains to be elucidated. Besides, host immune responses against the vector as well as transgene products have been denoted in the clinical gene therapy studies. Here, we transduced dystrophic dogs fetuses to investigate the therapeutic effects of an AAV vector expressing microdystrophin under conditions of immune tolerance. rAAV-CMV-microdystrophin and a rAAV-CAG-luciferase were injected into the amniotic fluid surrounding fetuses. We also reinjected rAAV9-CMV-microdystrophin into the jugular vein of an infant dystrophic dog to induce systemic expression of microdystrophin. Gait and cardiac function significantly improved in the rAAV-microdystrophin-injected dystrophic dog, suggesting that an adequate treatment of rAAV-microdystrophin with immune modulation induces successful long-term transgene expression to analyze improved dystrophic phenotype.