Evaluation of helper-dependent canine adenovirus vectors in a 3D human CNS model

Simao, D.; Pinto, C.; Fernandes, P.; Peddie, C. J.; Piersanti, S.; Collinson, L. M.; Salinas, S.; Saggio, I.; Schiavo, G.; Kremer, E. J.; Brito, C.; Alves, P. M.

Gene Ther

2016-01 / vol 23 / pages 86-94


Gene therapy is a promising approach with enormous potential for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Viral vectors derived from canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) present attractive features for gene delivery strategies in the human brain, by preferentially transducing neurons, are capable of efficient axonal transport to afferent brain structures, have a 30-kb cloning capacity and have low innate and induced immunogenicity in preclinical tests. For clinical translation, in-depth preclinical evaluation of efficacy and safety in a human setting is primordial. Stem cell-derived human neural cells have a great potential as complementary tools by bridging the gap between animal models, which often diverge considerably from human phenotype, and clinical trials. Herein, we explore helper-dependent CAV-2 (hd-CAV-2) efficacy and safety for gene delivery in a human stem cell-derived 3D neural in vitro model. Assessment of hd-CAV-2 vector efficacy was performed at different multiplicities of infection, by evaluating transgene expression and impact on cell viability, ultrastructural cellular organization and neuronal gene expression. Under optimized conditions, hd-CAV-2 transduction led to stable long-term transgene expression with minimal toxicity. hd-CAV-2 preferentially transduced neurons, whereas human adenovirus type 5 (HAdV5) showed increased tropism toward glial cells. This work demonstrates, in a physiologically relevant 3D model, that hd-CAV-2 vectors are efficient tools for gene delivery to human neurons, with stable long-term transgene expression and minimal cytotoxicity.

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10.1038/gt.2015.75 gt201575 [pii]

1476-5462 (Electronic) 0969-7128 (Linking)

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