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Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2013 Jul 16;2:e106. doi: 10.1038/mtna.2013.35.

Adeno-associated Virus-mediated, Mifepristone-regulated Transgene Expression in the Brain.

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1
Department of Neurology, University Medicine Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.

Abstract

Gene therapy, in its current configuration, is irreversible and does not allow control over transgene expression in case of side effects. Only few regulated vector systems are available, and none of these has reached clinical applicability yet. The mifepristone (Mfp)-regulated Gene Switch (GS) system is characterized by promising features such as being composed of mainly human components and an approved small-molecule drug as an inducer. However, it has not yet been evaluated in adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, neither has it been tested for applicability in viral vectors in the central nervous system (CNS). Here, we demonstrate that the GS system can be used successfully in AAV vectors in the brain, and that short-term induced glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) expression prevented neurodegeneration in a rodent model of Parkinson's disease (PD). We also demonstrate repeated responsiveness to the inducer Mfp and absence of immunological tissue reactions in the rat brain. Human equivalent dosages of Mfp used in this study were lower than those used safely for treatment of psychiatric threats, indicating that the inducer could be safely applied in patients. Our results suggest that the GS system in AAV vectors is well suited for further development towards clinical applicability.Molecular Therapy-Nucleic Acids (2013) 2, e106; doi:10.1038/mtna.2013.35; published online 16 July 2013.

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