Newborn liver gene transfer by an HIV-2-based lentiviral vector

B. Salani, P. Damonte, A. Zingone, O. Barbieri, J. Y. Chou, J. D'Costa, S. K. Arya, A. Eva, L. Varesio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Newborn gene therapy, because it can prevent the damage caused by the onset of a disease, deserves specific attention. To evaluate gene transfer in tissues of newborn mice, we used a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-2 based lentiviral vector pseudotyped with vesicular stomatitis virus G glycoprotein expressing the green fluorescent protein reporter gene under the control of the cytomegalovirus promoter. We found that very low doses of HIV-2 could infect and be expressed in newborn mice. Under these conditions, the virus was preferentially expressed in the liver and hepatocytes were the predominant target. The treatment was not toxic, the infected liver cells proliferated and the transduced gene was stably expressed. Adult mice could be infected by HIV-2, but the vector was detected in the liver only utilizing the sensitive method of polymerase chain reaction coupled with Southern blot. Direct comparison between newborn and adult recipients demonstrated a much greater efficiency of liver transduction in the newborn mouse. These results indicate that the combination of early intervention and low multiplicity of infection may be a strategy for preferentially and efficiently targeting newborn liver for gene therapy applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-814
Number of pages12
JournalGene Therapy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 2005


  • Lentiviral vector
  • Liver transduction
  • Newborn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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