Human gene therapy

Efficient Expression of Igf-1 from Lentiviral Vectors Protects In Vitro but Does Not Mediate Behavioral Recovery of a Parkinsonian Lesion in Rats.

PMID 26222254


Gene therapy approaches delivering neurotrophic factors have offered promising results in both preclinical and clinical trials of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, failure of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor in phase 2 clinical trials has sparked a search for other trophic factors that may retain efficacy in the clinic. Direct protein injections of one such factor, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, in a rodent model of PD has demonstrated impressive protection of dopaminergic neurons against 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) toxicity. However, protein infusion is associated with surgical risks, pump failure, and significant costs. We therefore used lentiviral vectors to deliver Igf-1, with a particular focus on the novel integration-deficient lentiviral vectors (IDLVs). A neuron-specific promoter, from the human synapsin 1 gene, excellent for gene expression from IDLVs, was additionally used to enhance Igf-1 expression. An investigation of neurotrophic effects on primary rat neuronal cultures demonstrated that neurons transduced with IDLV-Igf-1 vectors had complete protection on withdrawal of exogenous trophic support. Striatal transduction of such vectors into 6-OHDA-lesioned rats, however, provided neither protection of dopaminergic substantia nigra neurons nor improvement of animal behavior.