Merits of combination cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar injections for the treatment of Niemann-Pick disease type A

Mol Ther. 2012 Oct;20(10):1893-901. doi: 10.1038/mt.2012.118. Epub 2012 Jul 24.


Niemann-Pick disease Type A (NPA) is a neuronopathic lysosomal storage disease (LSD) caused by the loss of acid sphingomyelinase (ASM). The goals of the current study are to ascertain the levels of human ASM that are efficacious in ASM knockout (ASMKO) mice, and determine whether these levels can be attained in non-human primates (NHPs) using a multiple parenchymal injection strategy. Intracranial injections of different doses of AAV1-hASM in ASMKO mice demonstrated that only a small amount of enzyme (<0.5 mg hASM/g tissue) was sufficient to increase survival, and that increasing the amount of hASM did not enhance this survival benefit until a new threshold level of >10 mg hASM/g tissue was reached. In monkeys, injection of 12 tracts of AAV1-hASM resulted in efficacious levels of enzyme in broad regions of the brain that was aided, in part, by axonal transport of adeno-associated virus (AAV) and movement through the perivascular space. This study demonstrates that a combination cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar injection protocol could provide therapeutic levels of hASM to regions of the NHP brain that are highly affected in NPA patients. The information from this study might help design new AAV-mediated enzyme replacement protocols for NPA and other neuronopathic LSDs in future clinical trials.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / enzymology
  • Dependovirus / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Genetic Therapy*
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics
  • Injections
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Niemann-Pick Disease, Type A / pathology
  • Niemann-Pick Disease, Type A / therapy*
  • Primates / metabolism
  • Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase / deficiency*
  • Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase / genetics
  • Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase / metabolism


  • Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase