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Gene Ther. 2005 Apr;12(7):588-96.

Variability in infectivity of primary cell cultures of human brain tumors with HSV-1 amplicon vectors.

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Department of Neurology, University of Cologne, Max-Planck Institute for Neurological Research, Center for Molecular Medicine, European Molecular Imaging Laboratory, Cologne 50931, Germany.


We investigated the variability in infectivity of cells in primary brain tumor samples from different patients using an HSV-1 amplicon vector. We studied the infectivity of HSV-1 amplicon vectors in tumor samples derived from neurosurgical resections of 20 patients. Cells were infected with a definite amount of HSV-1 amplicon vector HSV-GFP. Transduction efficiency in primary tumor cell cultures was compared to an established human glioma line. Moreover, duration of transgene expression was monitored in different tumor cell types. All primary cell cultures were infectable with HSV-GFP with variable transduction efficiencies ranging between 3.0 and 42.4% from reference human Gli36 Delta EGFR glioma cells. Transduction efficiency was significantly greater in anaplastic gliomas and meningiomas (26.7+/-17.4%) compared to more malignant tumor types (glioblastomas, metastases; 11.2+/-8.5%; P=0.05). To further investigate the possible underlying mechanism of this variability, nectin-1/HevC expression was analyzed and was found to contribute, at least in part, to this variability in infectability. The tumor cells expressed the exogenous gene for 7 to 61 days with significant shorter expression in glioblastomas (18+/-13 d) compared to anaplastic gliomas (42+/-24 d; P<0.05). Interindividual variability of infectivity by HSV-1 virions might explain, at least in part, why some patients enrolled in gene therapy for glioblastoma in the past exhibited a sustained response to HSV-1-based gene- and virus therapy. Infectivity of primary tumor samples from respective patients should be tested to enable the development of efficient and safe herpes vector-based gene and virus therapy for clinical application.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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