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Efficient Early and Sustained Transduction of Human Fetal Mesencephalon Using Adeno-Associated Virus Type 2 Vectors

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The success of transplantation of human fetal mesencephalic tissue into the putamen of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is still limited by the poor survival of the graft. In animal models of fetal transplantation for PD, antiapoptotic agents, such as growth factors or caspase inhibitors, or agents counteracting oxidative stress enhance the survival and reinnervation potential of the graft. Genetic modification of the transplant could allow a local and continuous delivery of these factors at physiologically relevant doses. The major challenge remains the development of strategies to achieve both early and sustained gene delivery in the absence of vector-mediated toxicity. We recently reported that E14 rat fetal mesencephalon could be efficiently tranduced by adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) vectors and that gene expression was maintained until at least 3 months after transplantation in the adult rat striatum. Here we report that an AAV2 vector can mediate the expression of the EGFP reporter gene under the control of a CMV promoter in organotypic cultures of freshly explanted solid fragments of human fetal mesencephalic tissue as early as 3 days to at least 6 weeks postinfection. These results suggest that AAV2 vectors could be used to genetically modify the human fetal tissue prior to transplantation to Parkinson’s patients to promote graft survival and integration.

Keywords: Adeno-associated virus (AAV); Dopaminergic grafts; Fetal mesencephalon; Parkinson’s disease; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *Laboratory of Experimental Neurosurgery, †Department of Neurosurgery, Hôpital Erasme, ULB, Belgium 2: ¶INSERM U421, Hôpital Mondor, Créteil, France 3: ‡Department of Gynecology, Hôpital Erasme, ULB, Belgium 4: §Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire en Biologie Humaine et Moléculaire, ULB, Belgium

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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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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