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Hum Gene Ther. 1998 Nov 20;9(17):2527-35.

Behavioral recovery in 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rats by cotransduction of striatum with tyrosine hydroxylase and aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase genes using two separate adeno-associated virus vectors.

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Division of Genetic Therapeutics, Center for Molecular Medicine, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, Japan.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by the progressive loss of the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and a severe decrease in dopamine in the striatum. A promising approach to the gene therapy of PD is intrastriatal expression of enzymes in the biosynthetic pathway for dopamine. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) catalyzes the synthesis of L-dopa, which must be converted to dopamine by aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC). Since the endogenous AADC activity in the striatum is considered to be low, coexpression of both TH and AADC in the same striatal cells would increase the dopamine production and thereby augment the therapeutic effects. In the present study, the TH gene and also the AADC gene were simultaneously transduced into rat striatal cells, using two separate adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, AAV-TH and AAV-AADC. Immunostaining showed that TH and AADC were coexpressed efficiently in the same striatal cells in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, cotransduction with these two AAV vectors resulted in more effective dopamine production and more remarkable behavioral recovery in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-lesioned rats, compared with rats receiving AAV-TH alone (p < 0.01). These findings suggest an alternative strategy for gene therapy of PD and indicate that the simultaneous transduction with two AAV vectors can extend their utility for potential gene therapy applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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