AAV-based neonatal gene therapy for hemophilia A: long-term correction and avoidance of immune responses in mice

Gene Ther. 2012 Dec;19(12):1166-76. doi: 10.1038/gt.2011.200. Epub 2012 Jan 12.


Hemophilia A gene therapy has been hampered by immune responses to vector-associated antigens and by neutralizing antibodies or inhibitors against the factor VIII (FVIII) protein; these 'inhibitors' more commonly affect hemophilia A patients than those with hemophilia B. A gene replacement strategy beginning in the neonatal period may avoid the development of these immune responses and lead to prolonged expression with correction of phenotype, thereby avoiding long-term consequences. A serotype rh10 adeno-associated virus (AAV) was developed splitting the FVIII coding sequence into heavy and light chains with the chicken β-actin promoter/CMV enhancer for dual recombinant adeno-associated viral vector delivery. Virions of each FVIII chain were co-injected intravenously into mice on the second day of life. Mice express sustained levels of FVIII antigen ≥5% up to 22 months of life without development of antibodies against FVIII. Phenotypic correction was manifest in all AAV-FVIII-treated mice as demonstrated by functional assay and reduction in bleeding time. This study demonstrates the use of AAV in a gene replacement strategy in neonatal mice that establishes both long-term phenotypic correction of hemophilia A and lack of antibody development against FVIII in this disease model where AAV is administered shortly after birth. These studies support the consideration of gene replacement therapy for diseases that are diagnosed in utero or in the early neonatal period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / biosynthesis*
  • Antibodies, Viral / biosynthesis*
  • Dependovirus / genetics*
  • Dependovirus / immunology
  • Factor VIII / genetics*
  • Factor VIII / immunology
  • Genetic Therapy*
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Hemophilia A / immunology
  • Hemophilia A / therapy*
  • Mice


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Factor VIII