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J Virol. 1998 May;72(5):4212-23.

Transduction of dendritic cells by DNA viral vectors directs the immune response to transgene products in muscle fibers.

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Institute for Human Gene Therapy and Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Health System, and The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


Immune responses to vector-corrected cells have limited the application of gene therapy for treatment of chronic disorders such as inherited deficiency states. We have found that recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) efficiently transduces muscle fibers in vivo without activation of cellular and humoral immunity to neoantigenic transgene products such as beta-galactosidase, which differs from the experience with recombinant adenovirus, where vibrant T-cell responses to the transgene product destroy the targeted muscle fibers. T cells activated following intramuscular administration of adenovirus expressing lacZ (AdlacZ) can destroy AAVlacZ-transduced muscle fibers, indicating a prior state of immunologic nonresponsiveness in the context of AAV gene therapy. Adoptive transfer of dendritic cells infected with AdlacZ leads to immune mediated elimination of AAVlacZ-transduced muscle fibers. AAVlacZ-transduced antigen-presenting cells fail to demonstrate beta-galactosidase activity and are unable to elicit transgene immunity in adoptive transfer experiments. These studies indicate that vector-mediated transduction of dendritic cells is necessary for cellular immune responses to muscle gene therapy, a step which AAV avoids, providing a useful biological niche for its use in gene therapy.

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