Human gene therapy

Humoral and cell-mediated immune response, and growth factor synthesis after direct intraarticular injection of rAAV2-IGF-I and rAAV5-IGF-I in the equine middle carpal joint.

PMID 25705927


Intraarticular (IA) administration of viral vectors expressing a therapeutic transgene is an attractive treatment modality for osteoarthritis (OA) as the joint can be treated as a contained unit. Humoral and cell-mediated immune responses in vivo can limit vector effectiveness. Transduction of articular tissues has been investigated; however, the immune response to IA vectors remains largely unknown. We hypothesized that IA rAAV2 and rAAV5 overexpressing insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) would result in long-term IGF-I formation but would also induce neutralizing antibodies (NAb) and anti-capsid effector T cells. Twelve healthy horses were assigned to treatment (rAAV2 or rAAV5) or control (saline) groups. Middle carpal joints were injected with 5×10(11) vector genomes/joint. Synovial fluid was analyzed for changes in composition, NAb titers, immunoglobulin isotypes, proinflammatory cytokines, and IGF-I. Serum was analyzed for antibody titers and cytokines. A T cell restimulation assay was used to assess T cell responses. Injection of rAAV2- or rAAV5-IGF-I did not induce greater inflammation compared with saline. Synovial fluid IGF-I was significantly increased in both rAAV2- and rAAV5-IGF-I joints by day 14 and remained elevated until day 56; however, rAAV5 achieved the highest concentrations. A capsid-specific T cell response was not noted although all virus-treated horses had increased NAbs in serum and synovial fluid after treatment. Taken together, our data show that IA injection of rAAV2- or rAAV5-IGF-I does not incite a clinically detectable inflammatory or cell-mediated immune response and that IA gene therapy using minimally immunogenic vectors represents a clinically relevant tool for treating articular disorders including OA.