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Hum Gene Ther. 2001 Jan 1;12(1):1-11.

Radioisotopic imaging allows optimization of adenovirus lung deposition for cystic fibrosis gene therapy.

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INSERM, EMI U00-10 Faculté de Médecine, 37032 Tours, France.


Cystic fibrosis is a common, heriditary disease resulting from mutations of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. Airway transfer of the CFTR gene is a potential strategy to treat or prevent the lung pathology that is the main cause of morbidity and mortality. Among the vectors used for gene therapy, adenoviruses have shown their ability to transfer the CFTR gene to respiratory epithelial cells, using either instillation or nebulization. Our objective was to characterize the lung deposition of aerosolized adenovirus by quantitative radioisotopic imaging, the only noninvasive technique allowing in vivo quantitation of inhaled drugs. We first labeled an adenovirus expressing human CFTR with the gamma-emitting radioisotope, technetium 99m (99mTc), and determined the best labeling conditions to allow preservation of virus bioactivity. We then administered the radioaerosol to baboons, determined lung regional deposition of 99mTc-labeled adenovirus, and compared the expression of CFTR transcripts 3 and 21 days after inhalation. The expression of vector-encoded mRNA ranged from 4 to 22% with respect to the endogenous CFTR mRNA depending on the lung segments. Moreover, we have developed a model using 99mTc-DTPA (diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid), which can be used, as an alternative to adenovirus, to determine the profile of lung deposition of the vector. This study demonstrates that scintigraphy is a useful technique to achieve optimization of gene administration to the airways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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