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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Therapeutic liabilities of in vivo viral vector tropism: adeno-associated virus vectors, NMDAR1 antisense, and focal seizure sensitivity.

The N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor provides a potential target for gene therapy of focal seizure disorders. To test this approach, we cloned a 729-bp NMDA receptor (NMDAR1) cDNA fragment in the antisense orientation into adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, where expression was driven by either a tetracycline-off regulatable promoter (AAV-tTAK-NR1A) or a cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter (AAV-CMV-NR1A). After infection of primary cultured cortical neurons with recombinant AAV-tTAK-NR1A, patch clamp studies found a significant decrease in maximal NMDA-evoked currents, indicative of a decrease in the number of NMDA receptors. Similarly, infusion of AAV-tTAK-NR1A (1 microl) into the rat temporal cortex significantly decreased NMDAR1-like immunoreactivity in layer V pyramidal cells. When AAV-tTAK-NR1A vectors were infused into the seizure-sensitive site of the rat inferior collicular cortex, the seizure sensitivity increased significantly over a period of 4 weeks. However, collicular infusion of AAV-CMV-NR1A vectors caused the opposite effect, a significant decrease in seizure sensitivity. Subsequent collicular coinfusion of vector encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) driven by the tetracyclineoff promoter (AAV-tTAK-GFP) and vector encoding beta-galactosidase driven by the CMV promoter (AAV-CMV-LacZ) transduced distinct neuronal populations with only partial overlap. Thus, differing transduction ratios of inhibitory interneurons to primary output neurons likely account for the divergent seizure influences. Although AAV vector-derived NMDAR1 antisense can influence NMDA receptor function both in vitro and in vivo, promoter-related tropic differences dramatically alter the physiological outcome of this receptor-based gene therapy.[1]


  1. Therapeutic liabilities of in vivo viral vector tropism: adeno-associated virus vectors, NMDAR1 antisense, and focal seizure sensitivity. Haberman, R., Criswell, H., Snowdy, S., Ming, Z., Breese, G., Samulski, R., McCown, T. Mol. Ther. (2002) [Pubmed]
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