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Mol Ther. 2008 Feb;16(2):396-403. doi: 10.1038/ Epub 2007 Nov 27.

Restoration of human B-cell differentiation into NOD-SCID mice engrafted with gene-corrected CD34+ cells isolated from Artemis or RAG1-deficient patients.

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Institut National de la Santé et de Recherche Médicale, Unit 768, Necker site, Paris, France.


Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) caused by mutation of the recombination-activating gene 1 (RAG1) or Artemis gene lead to the absence of B- and T-cell differentiation. The only curative treatment is allogeneic bone marrow (BM) transplantation, which displays a high survival rate when an HLA compatible donor is available but has a poorer prognosis when the donor is partially compatible. Consequently, gene therapy may be a promising alternative strategy for these diseases. Here, we report that lentiviral gene-corrected BM CD34(+) cells (isolated from Artemis- or RAG1-deficient patients) sustain human B-cell differentiation following injection into non-obese diabetic/SCID (NOD-SCID) mice previously infused with anti-interleukin-2 receptor beta chain monoclonal antibody. In most of the mice BM, engrafted with Artemis-transduced cells, human B-cell differentiation occurred until the mature stage. The B cells were functional as human immunoglobulin M (IgM) was present in the serum. Following injection with RAG1-transduced cells, human engraftment occurred in vivo but B-cell differentiation until the mature stage was less frequent. However, when it occurred, it was always associated with human IgM production. This overall approach represents a useful tool for evaluating gene transfer efficiency in human SCID forms affecting B-cell development (such as Artemis deficiency) and for testing new vectors for improving in vivo RAG1 complementation.

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