Factors influencing therapeutic efficacy and the host immune response to helper-dependent adenoviral gene therapy in hemophilia A mice
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BACKGROUND: Adenoviral-based methods of gene therapy have been ineffective at providing sustained factor (F)VIII expression in outbred populations of large animal hemophilic models primarily due to the immunogenicity of these vectors. Improvements have been made in vector design leading to the development of the helper-dependent adenoviral (HD) system. Unfortunately, it remains unclear whether these modifications are sufficient to circumvent the induction of inhibitor formation associated with adenoviral gene transfer. OBJECTIVE: To develop an HD vector capable of mediating sustained FVIII expression and to determine the variables that influence inhibitor development. METHODS: HD vectors were constructed encoding the canine FVIII B-domain deleted transgene under the control of either the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter or a tissue-restricted hybrid element consisting of five HNF-1 binding sites, located upstream of the human FVIII proximal promoter. Inbred and outbred populations of hemophilic mice were treated, and monitored for vector-induced toxicity, therapeutic efficacy, and inhibitor formation. RESULTS: When HD vectors utilizing the CMV promoter were administered, all hemophilic mice developed high levels of FVIII inhibitors. In contrast, vectors under the control of the HNF/FVIII element were capable of achieving sustained elevations of FVIII for over 6 months. Strain-specific differences were also observed, with outbred animals showing a greater propensity towards inhibitor development in response to treatment. CONCLUSIONS: HD vectors can be used to provide long-term FVIII expression in hemophilic animals, but treatment outcome and the induction of inhibitors is dependent on a number of variables including the transgene promoter, the vector dose, and the genetic background of the host.
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