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

Combinatorial blockade of calcineurin and CD28 signaling facilitates primary and secondary therapeutic gene transfer by adenovirus vectors in dystrophic (mdx) mouse muscles.

Recombinant adenovirus vectors (AdV) have been considered a potential vehicle for performing gene therapy in patients suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy but are limited by a cellular and humoral immune response that prevents long-term transgene expression as well as effective transduction after AdV readministration. Conventional immunosuppressive agents such as cyclosporine and FK506, which act by interfering with CD3-T-cell receptor-mediated signaling via calcineurin, are only partially effective in reversing these phenomena and may also produce substantial organ toxicity. We hypothesized that activation of redundant T-cell activation pathways could limit the effectiveness of these drugs at clinically tolerable doses. Therefore, we have tested the ability of immunomodulatory immunoglobulins (Ig) with different modes of action to facilitate AdV-mediated gene transfer to adult dystrophic (mdx) mice. When used in isolation, immunomodulatory Ig (anti-intercellular adhesion molecule-1, anti-leukocyte function-associated antigen-1, anti-CD2, and CTLA4Ig) were only mildly effective in mitigating cellular and/or humoral immunity against adenovirus capsid proteins and the therapeutic transgene product, dystrophin. However, the combination of FK506 plus CTLA4Ig abrogated the immune response against adenovirus proteins and dystrophin to a degree not achievable with the use of either agent alone. At 30 days after AdV injection, >90% of myofibers could be found to express dystrophin with little or no evidence of a cellular immune response against transduced fibers. In addition, the humoral immune response was markedly suppressed, and this was associated with increased transduction efficiency following vector readministration. These data suggest that by facilitating both primary and secondary transduction after AdV administration, combined targeting of CD3-T-cell receptor-mediated signaling via calcineurin and the B7:CD28 costimulatory pathway could greatly increase the potential utility of AdV-mediated gene transfer as a therapeutic modality for genetic diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy that will require long-term transgene expression and repeated vector delivery.[1]


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