The primary cause of Huntington's disease (HD) is expression of huntingtin with a polyglutamine expansion. Despite an absence of consensus on the mechanism(s) of toxicity, diminishing the synthesis of mutant huntingtin will abate toxicity if delivered to the key affected cells. With antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) that catalyze RNase H-mediated degradation of huntingtin mRNA, we demonstrate that transient infusion into the cerebrospinal fluid of symptomatic HD mouse models not only delays disease progression but mediates a sustained reversal of disease phenotype that persists longer than the huntingtin knockdown. Reduction of wild-type huntingtin, along with mutant huntingtin, produces the same sustained disease reversal. Similar ASO infusion into nonhuman primates is shown to effectively lower huntingtin in many brain regions targeted by HD pathology. Rather than requiring continuous treatment, our findings establish a therapeutic strategy for sustained HD disease reversal produced by transient ASO-mediated diminution of huntingtin synthesis.
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