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Hum Gene Ther. 2003 May 1;14(7):627-43.

The role of capsid-endothelial interactions in the innate immune response to adenovirus vectors.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 4N1 Canada.


Adenovirus (Ad) vectors can produce inflammatory responses at high doses. Intravenous administration of an Ad vector expressing green fluorescent protein (AdGFP) to naive mice induced a biphasic pattern of liver cytokine/chemokine gene expression over 7 days. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2), and interferon gamma-inducible protein 10 (IP-10) genes were upregulated, with two distinct peaks of mRNA expression occurring at 6 hr and 5 days. The administration of transcription-defective AdGFP particles induced the early but not the late peak of chemokine/cytokine gene expression, confirming that Ad vector-induced inflammation is capsid dependent in the early phase and transcription dependent in the late phase. To determine the role of adenoviral capsid motifs in the early phase, capsid-modified Ad vectors were employed. The intravenous administration of the RGD-deleted Ad vector AdL.PB*, the fiber mutant AdL.F*, or the double mutant AdL.F*PB* induced similar levels of cytokine/chemokine expression compared with the wild-type vector AdLuc. Kupffer cell blockade significantly reduced liver TNF-alpha, MIP-2, and IP-10 gene expression and liver inflammation after the administration of AdL.PB* or AdL.F*PB*. Fluorescence microscopy of AdLuc- and AdL.PB*-transduced liver at 1 hr revealed localization of Ad vectors to liver sinusoids in Kupffer cell-depleted mice. AdL.PB* induced less E-selectin and VCAM-1 gene expression in liver, confirming reduced endothelial activation in mice receiving RGD-deleted Ad vectors. In vitro studies of endothelial cells demonstrated reduced transduction and endothelial activation by AdL.PB* compared with AdLuc. These results demonstrate that adenovirus capsid RGD motifs are required for efficient transduction and endothelial cell activation. Altering vector tropism represents a feasible strategy to modulate the innate response to Ad vectors in nontargeted tissues.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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