Correction of metachromatic leukodystrophy in the mouse model by transplantation of genetically modified hematopoietic stem cells

Alessandra Biffi, Michele De Palma, Angelo Quattrini, Ubaldo Del Carro, Stefano Amadio, Ilaria Visigalli, Maria Sessa, Stefania Fasano, Riccardo Brambilla, Sergio Marchesini, Claudio Bordignon, Luigi Naldini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Gene-based delivery can establish a sustained supply of therapeutic proteins within the nervous system. For diseases characterized by extensive CNS and peripheral nervous system (PNS) involvement, widespread distribution of the exogenous gene may be required, a challenge to in vivo gene transfer strategies. Here, using lentiviral vectors (LVs), we efficiently transduced hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) ex vivo and evaluated the potential of their progeny to target therapeutic genes to the CNS and PNS of transplanted mice and correct a neurodegenerative disorder, metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD). We proved extensive repopulation of CNS microglia and PNS endoneurial macrophages by transgene-expressing cells. Intriguingly, recruitment of these HSC-derived cells was faster and more robust in MLD mice. By transplanting HSCs transduced with the arylsulfatase A gene, we fully reconstituted enzyme activity in the hematopoietic system of MLD mice and prevented the development of motor conduction impairment, learning and coordination deficits, and neuropathological abnormalities typical of the disease. Remarkably, ex vivo gene therapy had a significantly higher therapeutic impact than WT HSC transplantation, indicating a critical role for enzyme overexpression in the HSC progeny. These results indicate that transplantation of LV-transduced autologous HSCs represents a potentially efficacious therapeutic strategy for MLD and possibly other neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1118-1129
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Volume113
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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