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Immunol Lett. 1997 Jun 1;57(1-3):19-25.

Gene therapy with recombinant adenovirus vectors: evaluation of the host immune response.

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Transgène SA, Strasbourg, France.


E1, E3-deleted, replication-deficient recombinant adenoviruses are widely studied as vectors for their capacity to transfer therapeutic genes in vivo. They can infect a wide variety of dividing and quiescent cells from different organs and possess a large packaging capacity. One of the major limitations in the use of these vectors for gene therapy is the transient expression of the transgene in vivo and the poor transduction efficiency when re-administered. Despite the deletion of the viral E1 region, low level of early and late viral genes are expressed in vivo. Thus, viral antigens plus those derived from transgene expression in transduced cells contribute to cellular immune responses leading to the destruction of these cells. Production of anti-adenovirus antibodies, the cellular immune response as well as the early non-specific clearance of the vectors, constitute barriers to successful gene therapy. New vectors have been derived with additional deletions in the E2a or the E4 regions. Such second generation vectors were evaluated in vivo. These studies have revealed the complexity of the immune mechanisms elicited by these vectors and the importance of several parameters in these evaluations (i.e. mouse strains, nature of the transgene, route of administration...). In order to inhibit the production of neutralizing antibodies to adenovirus that prevent from further readministration of the vectors, immunosuppressive strategies were undertaken. Treatment regimens with immunosuppressive drugs (cyclophosphamide, FK506) or with monoclonal antibodies that block either the T cell receptor or costimulation pathways allow prolonged transgene expression and/or readministration of adenoviral vectors. In addition, transduction efficiencies may be increased by transiently inhibiting non-specific immune mechanisms that lead to the dramatic early clearance of the vectors. Taken together, these strategies may improve further gene therapy protocols by decreasing the host immune response to adenoviral vectors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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