Intravenous administration of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-PHP.B, a capsid variant of AAV9 containing seven amino acid insertions, results in a greater permeability of the blood brain barrier (BBB) than standard AAV9 in mice, leading to highly efficient and global transduction of the central nervous system (CNS). The present study aimed to examine whether the enhanced BBB penetrance of AAV-PHP.B observed in mice also occurs in non-human primates. Thus, a young adult (age, 1.6 years) and an old adult (age, 7.2 years) marmoset received an intravenous injection of AAV-PHP.B expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) under the control of the constitutive CBh promoter (a hybrid of cytomegalovirus early enhancer and chicken β-actin promoter). Age-matched control marmosets were treated with standard AAV9-capsid vectors. The animals were sacrificed 6 weeks after the viral injection. Based on the results, only limited transduction of neurons (0-2%) and astrocytes (0.1-2.5%) was observed in both AAV-PHP.B- and AAV9-treated marmosets. One noticeable difference between AAV-PHP.B and AAV9 was the marked transduction of the peripheral dorsal root ganglia neurons. Indeed, the soma and axons in the projection from the spinal cord to the nucleus cuneatus in the medulla oblongata were strongly labeled with EGFP by AAV-PHP.B. Thus, except for the peripheral dorsal root ganglia neurons, the AAV-PHP.B transduction efficiency in the CNS of marmosets was comparable to that of AAV9 vectors.
Keywords: AAV-PHP.B; AAV9; Adeno-associated virus; Blood brain barrier; Marmoset; Transcytosis.
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