The identification of the most efficient method for whole central nervous system targeting that is translatable to humans and the safest route of adeno-associated virus (AAV) administration is a major concern for future applications in clinics. Additionally, as many AAV serotypes were identified for gene introduction into the brain and the spinal cord, another key to human gene-therapy success is to determine the most efficient serotype. In this study, we compared lumbar intrathecal administration through catheter implantation and intracerebroventricular administration in the cynomolgus macaque. We also evaluated and compared two AAV serotypes that are currently used in clinical trials: AAV9 and AAVrh10. We demonstrated that AAV9 lumbar intrathecal delivery using a catheter achieved consistent transgene expression in the motor neurons of the spinal cord and in the neurons/glial cells of several brain regions, whereas AAV9 intracerebroventricular delivery led to a consistent transgene expression in the brain. In contrast, AAVrh10 lumbar intrathecal delivery led to rare motor neuron targeting. Finally, we found that AAV9 efficiently targets respiratory and skeletal muscles after injection into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which represents an outstanding new property that can be useful for the treatment of diseases affecting both the central nervous system and muscle.
Keywords: AAV; central nervous system; gene therapy; intra-CSF; intracerebroventricular delivery; intrathecal delivery; motor neurons; muscle; neurons; nonhuman primate.