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Mol Ther. 2009 Nov;17(11):1904-9. doi: 10.1038/mt.2009.198. Epub 2009 Aug 25.

Transgene expression levels determine the immunogenicity of transduced hematopoietic grafts in partially myeloablated mice.

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1
Banc de Sang i Teixits, Institut de Recerca Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

We investigated whether transgene expression levels influence the immunogenicity of transduced hematopoietic grafts upon transplantation into partially myeloablated mice. To this aim, bone marrow cells (BMCs) transduced with retroviral vectors driving green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression either at high (high-EGFP) or low levels (low-EGFP) were transplanted into congenic recipients conditioned with sublethal doses of total body irradiation (TBI) or busulfan. Virtually all recipients showed evidence of donor engraftment 4 weeks after transplantation. However, as opposed to recipients receiving low-EGFP transduced grafts, the risk of rejecting the EGFP(+) cells by 30 days after transplantation was significantly higher in mice conditioned with busulfan and receiving high-EGFP transduced grafts. Anti-EGFP cellular immune responses were demonstrated in high-EGFP-treated mice conditioned with busulfan by interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), enzyme-linked immunospot assay (ELISPOT), and cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) assays, in contrast to that observed in mice transplanted with low-EGFP BMC. These results show for the first time that transgene expression levels can be critical for the immunogenicity of gene-modified hematopoietic grafts, especially in immunocompetent or in partially immunosuppressed recipients. These results have profound implications in vector choice and in the design of gene therapy (GT) protocols.

PMID:
19707185
PMCID:
PMC2835042
DOI:
10.1038/mt.2009.198
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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