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Epilepsia. 1997 Jul;38(7):759-66.

Direct gene transfer into human epileptogenic hippocampal tissue with an adeno-associated virus vector: implications for a gene therapy approach to epilepsy.

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1
Division of Neurosurgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6380, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Virus vectors capable of transferring genetic information into human cells provide hope for improved therapy in several neurological diseases, including epilepsy. We evaluated the ability of an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector to transfer and cause expression of a lacZ marker gene in brain slices obtained from patients undergoing temporal lobectomy for control of medically intractable seizures.

METHODS:

Human brain slices were injected with an AAV vector (AAVlacZ) encoding Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase and incubated for as long as 24 h. The presence of lacZ mRNA. beta-galactosidase protein and enzymatic activity were assayed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR), immunocytochemistry, and the X-Gal technique, respectively.

RESULTS:

AAVlacZ directed the expression in human epileptogenic brain of E. coli beta-galactosidase that had functional activity. Expression was observed in < or =5 h and was sustained for as long as the slices were viable. Morphological analysis indicated that neurons were preferentially transfected, and there was no evidence of cytotoxicity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results confirm the feasibility of using AAV vectors to transfer genes into the human CNS and in particular, into neurons. Replacement of the lacZ gene with a functional gene modulating hippocampal neuronal physiology, might allow a localized genetic intervention for focal seizures based on the stereotaxic or endovascular delivery of such a vector system into the appropriate brain region.

PMID:
9579902
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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