Design of a Single AAV Vector for Coexpression of TH and GCH1 to Establish Continuous DOPA Synthesis in a Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease.

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Abstract

Preclinical efficacy of continuous delivery of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) with adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors has recently been documented in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD). So far, all studies have utilized a mix of two monocistronic vectors expressing either of the two genes, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and GTP cyclohydrolase-1 (GCH1), needed for DOPA production. Here, we present a novel vector design that enables efficient DOPA production from a single AAV vector in rats with complete unilateral dopamine (DA) lesions. Functional efficacy was assessed with drug-induced and spontaneous motor behavioral tests where vector-treated animals showed near complete and stable recovery within 1 month. Recovery of motor function was associated with restoration of extracellular DA levels as assessed by online microdialysis. Histological analysis showed robust transgene expression not only in the striatum but also in overlying cortical areas. In globus pallidus, we noted loss of NeuN staining, which might be due to different sensitivity in neuronal populations to transgene expression. Taken together, we present a single AAV vector design that result in efficient DOPA production and wide-spread transduction. This is a favorable starting point for continued translation toward a therapeutic application, although future studies need to carefully review target region, vector spread and dilution with this approach.

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  • Medical Genetics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1315-1326
JournalMolecular Therapy
Volume20
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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