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Autotransplantation in mdx Mice of mdx Myoblasts Genetically Corrected by an HSV-1 Amplicon Vector

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Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive disorder, characterized by a lack of dystrophin. To eliminate the need for immunosuppressive drugs, transplantation of genetically modified autologous myoblasts has been proposed as a possible therapy for this myopathy. An HSV-1 amplicon vector (HSVDGN), containing a 17.3-kb full-length MCK-driven mouse dystrophin cDNA, an eGFP gene, and a neomycin resistance gene driven by CMV or SV40 promoters, respectively, was constructed and used to transduce mdx primary myoblasts. The presence of the eGFP and neomycin resistance genes facilitated the evaluation of the initial transduction efficiency and the permanent transduction frequency. At low multiplicities of infection (MOI 1–5), the majority of myoblasts (60–90%) expressed GFP. The GFP-positive mdx myoblasts were sorted by FACS and selected with neomycin (300 μg/ml) for 2 weeks. Up to 2% of initially infected mdx myoblasts stably expressed the three transgenes without further selection at that time. These altered cells were grafted into the tibialis anterior muscles of 18 mdx mice. Some of the mice were immunosuppressed with FK506 due to the anticipation that eGFP and the product of neomycin resistance gene might be immunogenic. One month after transplantation, numerous muscle fibers expressing mouse dystrophin were detected by immunohistochemistry, in both immunosuppressed (10–50%) and nonimmunosuppressed (5–25%) mdx mice. Our results demonstrated the capability of permanently expressing a full-length dystrophin in dystrophic myoblasts with HSV-1 amplicon vector and raised the possibility of an eventual treatment of DMD based on the transplantation of genetically modified autologous myoblasts.

Keywords: Key words: Autologous transplantation; Duchene mus

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *Laboratoire de Génétique Humaine, Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université Laval (CHUL), Ste-Foy (Qc), Canada, G1V 4G2 2: †Department of Anesthesia, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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