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Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Mar;44(3):570-7.

Infection efficiency of type 5 adenoviral vectors in synovial tissue can be enhanced with a type 16 fiber.

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Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands.



To obtain an adenoviral vector with increased infection efficiency in the synovial tissue compared with conventional vectors based on adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5), without compromising the specificity of infection.


Coxsackie adenovirus receptor (CAR) expression was assessed in cultured synoviocytes. Chimeric adenoviruses based on Ad5 but carrying the DNA encoding the fiber of adenovirus from subgroup B (Adll, 16, 35) or D (Ad24, 28, 33, 45, or 47) were constructed and produced on PER.C6 cells. The gene transfer efficiency of these chimera was tested on cultured synoviocytes and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).


No surface expression of CAR protein was observed on synoviocytes. CAR messenger RNA expression of synoviocytes was found to be low. Of all fiber chimeric vectors tested, vectors carrying the fiber of Ad16 (Ad5.fib16) were most potent, yielding approximately150 times increased transgene expression in cultured synoviocytes compared with those of Ad5. Flow cytometry showed that the increase in transgene expression was caused by the transduction of higher percentages of synoviocytes and higher gene expression per synoviocyte. Experiments with 500 virus particles/cell of Ad5.GFP or Ad5.fib16.GFP resulted in an infection efficiency of 0.6% and 1% in PBMC and 43% and 76% in synoviocytes, respectively.


Synoviocytes hardly express CAR, which hampers Ad5-mediated gene transfer. Ad5.fib16 is superior to Ad5 vectors for transducing synoviocytes, without compromising the specificity of infection. Our data suggest that Ad5.fib16-mediated gene transfer to synovial tissue improves the therapeutic window.

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