Treatment with bone maturation and average lifespan of HPP model mice by AAV8-mediated neonatal gene therapy via single muscle injection

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2021 Jun 12:22:330-337. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2021.06.006. eCollection 2021 Sep 10.


Hypophosphatasia (HPP) is an inherited skeletal disease characterized by defective bone and tooth mineralization due to a deficiency in tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNALP). Patients with the severe infantile form of HPP may appear normal at birth, but their prognosis is very poor. To develop a practical gene therapy for HPP, we endeavored to phenotypically correct TNALP knockout (Akp2 -/- ) mice through adeno-associated virus type 8 (AAV8) vector-mediated, muscle-directed, TNALP expression. Following treatment of neonatal Akp2 -/- mice with a single intramuscular injection of ARU-2801 (AAV8-TNALP-D10-vector) at 1.0 × 1012 vector genomes/body, high plasma ALP levels (19.38 ± 5.02 U/mL) were detected for up to 18 months, and computed tomography analysis showed mature bone mineralization. Histochemical staining for ALP activity in the knee joint revealed ALP activity on the surface of the endosteal bone of mice. Throughout their lives, the surviving treated Akp2 -/- mice exhibited normal physical activity and a healthy appearance, whereas untreated controls died within 3 weeks. No ectopic calcification or abnormal calcium metabolism was detected in the treated mice. These findings suggest that ARU-2801-mediated neonatal intramuscular gene therapy is both safe and effective, and that this strategy could be a practical option for treatment of the severe infantile form of HPP.

Keywords: adeno-associated virus vector; hypophosphatasia; muscle injection; neonatal gene therapy; tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase.