CNS-targeted AAV5 gene transfer results in global dispersal of vector and prevention of morphological and function deterioration in CNS of globoid cell leukodystrophy mouse model

Dar Shong Lin*, Chung Der Hsiao, Ian Liau, Shuan Pei Lin, Ming Fu Chiang, Chih Kuang Chuang, Tuen Jen Wang, Tsu Yen Wu, Yuan Ren Jian, Sung Fa Huang, Hsuan Liang Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD) is a devastating lysosomal storage disease caused by deficiency of the enzyme galactocerebrosidase (GALC). Currently, there is no definite cure for GLD. Several attempts with CNS-directed gene therapy in twitcher mice (a murine model of GLD) demonstrated restricted expression of GALC activity in CNS and failure of therapeutic efficacy in cerebellum and spinal cord, resulting in various degrees of correction of biochemical, pathological and clinical phenotype. More recently, twitcher mice receiving a combination of hematopoietic and viral vector gene transfer therapies were not protected from neurodegeneration and axonopathy in both cerebellum and spinal cord. This evidence indicates the requirement of sufficient and widespread GALC expression in CNS and rescue of cerebellum and spinal cord in the therapeutic intervention of murine model of GLD. In this study, we have optimized intracranial delivery of AAV2/5-GALC to the neocortex, hippocampus and cerebellum, instead of the thalamus as was previously conducted, of twitcher mice. The CNS-targeted AAV2/5 gene transfer effectively dispersed GALC transgene along the neuraxis of CNS as far as the lumbar spinal cord, and reduced the accumulation of psychosine in the CNS of twitcher mice. Most importantly, the treated twitcher mice were protected from loss of oligodendrocytes and Purkinje cells, axonopathy and marked gliosis, and had significantly improved neuromotor function and prolonged lifespan. These preclinical findings with our approach are encouraging, although a more robust response in the spinal cord would be desirable. Collectively, the information in this study validates the efficacy of this gene delivery approach to correct enzymatic deficiency, psychosine accumulation and neuropathy in CNS of GLD. Combining cell therapy such as bone marrow transplantation with treatment with the aim of reducing inflammation, replacing dead or dying oligodendrocytes and targeting PNS may provide a synergistic and more complete correction of this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-377
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Volume103
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2011

Keywords

  • Adeno-associated virus
  • Globoid cell leukodystrophy
  • Lysosomal storage disease
  • Purkinje cells

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