Lentiviral-mediated phenotypic correction of cystic fibrosis pigs

JCI Insight. 2016 Sep 8;1(14):e88730. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.88730.


Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), resulting in defective anion transport. Regardless of the disease-causing mutation, gene therapy is a strategy to restore anion transport to airway epithelia. Indeed, viral vector-delivered CFTR can complement the anion channel defect. In this proof-of-principle study, functional in vivo CFTR channel activity was restored in the airways of CF pigs using a feline immunodeficiency virus-based (FIV-based) lentiviral vector pseudotyped with the GP64 envelope. Three newborn CF pigs received aerosolized FIV-CFTR to the nose and lung. Two weeks after viral vector delivery, epithelial tissues were analyzed for functional correction. In freshly excised tracheal and bronchus tissues and cultured ethmoid sinus cells, we observed a significant increase in transepithelial cAMP-stimulated current, evidence of functional CFTR. In addition, we observed increases in tracheal airway surface liquid pH and bacterial killing in CFTR vector-treated animals. Together, these data provide the first evidence to our knowledge that lentiviral delivery of CFTR can partially correct the anion channel defect in a large-animal CF model and validate a translational strategy to treat or prevent CF lung disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cystic Fibrosis / therapy*
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / therapeutic use*
  • Genetic Therapy*
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Ion Transport
  • Lentivirus
  • Swine


  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator