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Hum Gene Ther. 1992 Feb;3(1):21-33.

Direct gene transfer into nonhuman primate myofibers in vivo.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53705.


Previously, we showed that rodent muscle has the ability to take up and express plasmid genes injected intramuscularly. This study now demonstrates that nonhuman primate muscle also has this ability to express injected plasmids. A scaled-up version of the standard large preparation of plasmid DNA allowed several tens of milligrams of CCC plasmid DNA to be relatively easily produced and administered to monkeys. After the injection of the E. coli beta-galactosidase reporter gene in pRSVLac-Z, foreign gene expression was localized to both type I and type II myofibers. The luciferase reporter gene in pRSVL was used to quantify the amount of expression. The multiple implantation of plasmid DNA pellets was more efficient in expressing luciferase than the injection of DNA in normal saline. Luciferase activity persisted for at least 4 months after injection. However, the luciferase expression was considerably less than that in rodents. Preliminary studies explored why expression was less in monkeys. Of particular interest was the increased thickness of the perimysium of monkeys as compared to that in rodents. This increased connective tissue may decrease delivery of the plasmid DNA to the myofibers. Anti-nuclear or anti-DNA antibodies were not observed, even after repetitive DNA administrations, and no adverse effects were observed in any of the monkeys.

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