Intrapleural administration of AAV9 improves neural and cardiorespiratory function in Pompe disease

Mol Ther. 2013 Sep;21(9):1661-7. doi: 10.1038/mt.2013.96. Epub 2013 Jun 4.


Pompe disease is a neuromuscular disease resulting from deficiency in acid α-glucosidase (GAA), results in cardiac, skeletal muscle, and central nervous system (CNS) pathology. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) has been shown to partially correct cardiac and skeletal muscle dysfunction. However, ERT does not cross the blood-brain barrier and progressive CNS pathology ensues. We tested the hypothesis that intrapleural administration of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV9)-GAA driven by a cytomegalovirus (CMV) or desmin (DES) promoter would improve cardiac and respiratory function in Gaa(-/-) mice through a direct effect and retrograde transport to motoneurons. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging revealed significant improvement in ejection fraction in rAAV9-GAA-treated animals. Inspiratory phrenic and diaphragm activity was examined at baseline and during hypercapnic respiratory challenge. Mice treated with AAV9 had greater relative inspiratory burst amplitude during baseline conditions when compared with Gaa(-/-). In addition, efferent phrenic burst amplitude was significantly correlated with diaphragm activity in both AAV9-DES and AAV9-CMV groups but not in Gaa(-/-). This is the first study to indicate improvements in cardiac, skeletal muscle, and respiratory neural output following rAAV administration in Pompe disease. These results further implicate a role for the CNS in Pompe disease pathology and the critical need to target the neurologic aspects in developing therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dependovirus / genetics*
  • Dependovirus / metabolism
  • Diaphragm / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type II / genetics
  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type II / physiopathology*
  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type II / therapy*
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Phrenic Nerve / physiology*
  • Pleura
  • Random Allocation
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiology*
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Transduction, Genetic
  • alpha-Glucosidases / genetics*
  • alpha-Glucosidases / metabolism


  • alpha-Glucosidases