Transient depletion of CD4 lymphocyte improves efficacy of repeated administration of recombinant adenovirus in the ornithine transcarbamylase deficient sparse fur mouse

Gene Ther. 2000 Oct;7(20):1761-7. doi: 10.1038/


One of the current limitations of adenoviral gene therapy is a vector-induced humoral immune response that blocks effective re-administration of the vector. In an animal model of the inborn error of urea synthesis ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, the sparse fur (spf/y) mouse, we tested a strategy to transiently block the CD4 mediated immune response at the time of virus administration using an anti-CD4 monoclonal antibody (GK1.5). The co-administration of GK1.5 resulted in a significantly diminished production of neutralizing antibody to the adenovirus vector, but minimally prolonged metabolic correction. A second infusion of the same virus in GK1.5 treated spf/y mice led to a complete normalization of liver OTC activity at day 3 after infection and a significant metabolic correction of urinary orotate and plasma glutamine. In contrast, there was no evidence of enhanced OTC expression or metabolic correction (measured by normalization of plasma glutamine and urinary orotate) after the second infusion of virus in spf/y mice not treated with GK1.5. Furthermore, when co-administered with two consecutive doses of adenovirus, the anti-CD4 treatment allowed improved transgene expression upon a third administration of virus and a partial normalization of the metabolic abnormalities, compared with mice that did not receive anti-CD4 treatment. The level of OTC expression from the third viral infusion, however, was lower than that from the second viral infusion. Passive transfer experiments suggest that low levels of neutralizing antibodies developing over repeated viral administration was the likely cause of the reduced transgene expression. Together, these findings demonstrated that the host immune system can be modulated to permit effective transgene expression at therapeutic levels by re-administered adenoviral vectors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics*
  • Adenoviridae / immunology
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Viral / biosynthesis
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Genetic Vectors / administration & dosage
  • Genetic Vectors / immunology*
  • Genetic Vectors / therapeutic use
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Ornithine Carbamoyltransferase Deficiency Disease / therapy*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Viral