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Gene Ther. 2004 Jun;11(12):956-61.

Efficient lentiviral transduction of Herpesvirus saimiri immortalized T cells as a model for gene therapy in primary immunodeficiencies.

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Immunology Unit, University of Granada School of Medicine, Granada, Spain.


Infection of human T lymphocytes with the Herpesvirus saimiri (HVS) yields immortalized T-cell lines (HVS-T) which retain all the phenotypical and functional characteristics of their parental cells. This represents a new experimental model for studying genetic disorders of T lymphocytes. In spite of the efforts of many laboratories, no satisfactory way has been found so far to modify HVS-T cells genetically. We have analyzed the capacity of oncoretroviral (MLV)- and lentiviral (HIV-1)-based vectors pseudotyped with vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSVg) to transduce HVS-T cells. HIV-1-derived vectors efficiently transduced HVS-T cell lines, reaching up to 85% of cells expressing the transgene in a single round of infection. MLV-based vectors, on the other hand, were unable to transduce more than 1% of any of the HVS-T cell lines analyzed. Lentiviral-driven gene expression was maintained constant and stable in HVS-T cells for a minimum of 48 days. We also observed that although the lentiviral transduction efficiency achieved on HVS-T cells is lower than that obtained with tumor or primary endothelial cells, it is nevertheless similar to that found with activated primary T cells.

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