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Gene Ther. 2004 Oct;11(19):1453-61.

CTLA4Ig delivered by high-capacity adenoviral vector induces stable expression of dystrophin in mdx mouse muscle.

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Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Adenoviral (Ad) vector-mediated gene delivery of normal, full-length dystrophin to skeletal muscle provides a promising strategy for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an X-linked recessive, dystrophin-deficient muscle disease. Studies in animal models suggest that successful DMD gene therapy by Ad vector-mediated gene transfer would be precluded by cellular and humoral immune responses induced by vector capsid and transgene proteins. To address the immunity induced by Ad vector-mediated dystrophin gene delivery to dystrophic muscle, we developed high-capacity adenoviral (HC-Ad) vectors expressing mouse dystrophin driven by the muscle creatine kinase promoter (AdmDys) and mCTLA4Ig (AdmCTLA4Ig) individually, or together from one vector (AdmCTLA4Ig/mDys). We found stable expression of dystrophin protein in the tibialis anterior muscles of mdx mice, coinjected with AdmCTLA4Ig and AdmDys, or injected alone with AdmCTLA4Ig/mDys, whereas the expression of dystrophin protein in the control group coinjected with AdmDys and an empty vector decreased by at least 50% between 2 and 8 weeks after administration. Additionally, we observed reductions in Ad vector-induced Th1 and Th2 cytokines, Ad vector-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte activation and neutralizing anti-Ad antibodies in both experimental groups that received a mCTLA4Ig-expressing vector as compared to the control group. This study demonstrates that the coexpression of mCTLA4Ig and dystrophin in skeletal muscle provided by HC-Ad vector-mediated gene transfer can provide stable expression of dystrophin in immunocompetent, adult mdx mouse muscle and applies a potentially powerful strategy to overcome adaptive immunity induced by Ad vector-mediated dystrophin gene delivery toward the ultimate goal of treatment for DMD.

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