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Gene Ther. 2009 Nov;16(11):1340-52. doi: 10.1038/gt.2009.85. Epub 2009 Jul 9.

Mannitol-facilitated CNS entry of rAAV2 vector significantly delayed the neurological disease progression in MPS IIIB mice.

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  • 1The Center for Gene Therapy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine and Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43205, USA.


The presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) presents the most critical challenge in therapeutic development for mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) IIIB, a lysosomal storage disease with severe neurological manifestation, because of alpha-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NaGlu) deficiency. Earlier, we showed a global central nervous system (CNS) transduction in mice by mannitol-facilitated entry of intravenous (IV)-delivered recombinant adeno-associated viral serotype 2 (rAAV2) vector. In this study, we optimized the approach and showed that the maximal transduction in the CNS occurred when the rAAV2 vector was IV injected at 8 min after mannitol administration, and was approximately 10-fold more efficient than IV delivery of the vector at 5 or 10 min after mannitol infusion. Using this optimal (8 min) regimen, a single IV infusion of rAAV2-CMV-hNaGlu vector is therapeutically beneficial for treating the CNS disease of MPS IIIB in adult mice, with significantly extended survival, improved behavioral performance, and reduction of brain lysosomal storage pathology. The therapeutic benefit correlated with maximal delivery to the CNS, but not peripheral tissues. This milestone data shows the first effective gene delivery across the BBB to treat CNS disease. The critical timing of vector delivery and mannitol infusion highlights the important contribution of this pretreatment to successful intervention, and the long history of safe use of mannitol in patients bodes well for its application in CNS gene therapy.

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