Achieving efficient cardiac gene transfer in a large animal model has proven to be technically challenging. Previous strategies have used cardiopulmonary bypass or dual catheterization with the aid of vasodilators to deliver vectors, such as adenovirus, adeno-associated virus (AAV), or plasmid DNA. Although single-stranded AAV (ssAAV) vectors have shown the greatest promise, they suffer from delayed expression, which might be circumvented using self-complementary vectors. We sought to optimize cardiac gene transfer using a percutaneous transendocardial injection catheter to deliver adeno-associated viral vectors to the canine myocardium. Four vectors were evaluated-ssAAV9, self-complementary AAV9 (scAAV9), scAAV8, scAAV6-so that comparison could be made between single-stranded and self-complementary vectors as well as among serotypes 9, 8, and 6. We demonstrate that scAAV is superior to ssAAV and that AAV 6 is superior to the other serotypes evaluated. Biodistribution studies revealed that vector genome copies were 15-4,000 times more abundant in the heart than in any other organ for scAAV6. Percutaneous transendocardial injection of scAAV6 is a safe, effective method to achieve efficient cardiac gene transfer.
Copyright © 2008 The American Society of Gene Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.