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, 204 (1), 387-99

Controlled Delivery of Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor by a Single Tetracycline-Inducible AAV Vector

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Controlled Delivery of Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor by a Single Tetracycline-Inducible AAV Vector

A Chtarto et al. Exp Neurol.

Abstract

An autoregulated tetracycline-inducible recombinant adeno-associated viral vector (rAAV-pTet(bidi)ON) utilizing the rtTAM2 reverse tetracycline transactivator (rAAV-rtTAM2) was used to conditionally express the human GDNF cDNA. Doxycycline, a tetracycline analog, induced a time- and dose-dependent release of GDNF in vitro in human glioma cells infected with rAAV-rtTAM2 serotype 2 virus. Introducing the Woodchuck hepatitis virus posttranscriptional regulatory element (WPRE) downstream to the rtTAM2 coding sequence, resulted in a more rapid induction and a higher basal expression level. In vivo, 8 weeks after a single injection of the rAAV-rtTAM2-GDNF vector encapsidated into AAV serotype 1 capsids in the rat striatum, the GDNF protein level was 60 pg/mg tissue in doxycycline-treated animals whereas in untreated animals, it was undistinguishable from the endogenous level ( approximately 4 pg/mg tissue). However, a residual GDNF expression in the uninduced animals was evidenced by a sensitive immunohistochemical staining. As compared to rAAV1-rtTAM2-GDNF, the rAAV1-rtTAM2-WPRE-GDNF vector expressed a similar concentration of GDNF in the induced state (with doxycycline) but a basal level (without doxycycline) approximately 2.5-fold higher than the endogenous striatal level. As a proof for biological activity, for both vectors, downregulation of tyrosine hydroxylase was evidenced in dopaminergic terminals of doxycycline-treated but not untreated animals. In conclusion, the rAAV1-rtTAM2 vector which expressed biologically relevant doses of GDNF in the striatum in response to doxycycline with a basal level undistinguishable from the endogenous striatal level, as measured by quantitative ELISA assay, constitutes an interesting tool for local conditional transgenesis.

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