X-linked myotubular myopathy (XLMTM) results from MTM1 gene mutations and myotubularin deficiency. Most XLMTM patients develop severe muscle weakness leading to respiratory failure and death, typically within 2 years of age. Our objective was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of systemic gene therapy in the p.N155K canine model of XLMTM by performing a dose escalation study. A recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 8 (rAAV8) vector expressing canine myotubularin (cMTM1) under the muscle-specific desmin promoter (rAAV8-cMTM1) was administered by simple peripheral venous infusion in XLMTM dogs at 10 weeks of age, when signs of the disease are already present. A comprehensive analysis of survival, limb strength, gait, respiratory function, neurological assessment, histology, vector biodistribution, transgene expression, and immune response was performed over a 9-month study period. Results indicate that systemic gene therapy was well tolerated, prolonged lifespan, and corrected the skeletal musculature throughout the body in a dose-dependent manner, defining an efficacious dose in this large-animal model of the disease. These results support the development of gene therapy clinical trials for XLMTM.
Keywords: adeno-associated virus; canine; centronuclear; gene therapy; muscle; myopathy; myotubular; myotubularin; neuromuscular; pediatric.
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