Author(s): Katano H, Kok MR, Cotrim AP, Yamano S, Schmidt M,
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Abstract We previously demonstrated that recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors based on serotype 2 (rAAV2) can direct transgene expression in salivary gland cells in vitro and in vivo. However, it is not known how other rAAV serotypes perform when infused into salivary glands. The capsids of serotypes 4 and 5 are distinct from rAAV2 and from each other, suggesting that they may direct binding and entry into different cell types. In the present study, we investigated the tropisms, transduction efficiencies, and antibody response to AAV vectors based on AAV serotypes 2, 4, and 5. Administration of rAAV2beta-galactosidase (betagal), rAAV4betagal, or rAAV5betagal to murine submandibular salivary glands by retrograde ductal instillation resulted in efficient transduction of salivary epithelial cells, with AAV4 and AAV5 producing 2.3 and 7.3 times more betagal activity compared with AAV2. Improved transduction with AAV5 was confirmed by QPCR of DNA extracted from glands and immunohistochemical staining for transgene expression. Like AAV2, AAV5 primarily transduced striated and intercalated ductal cells. AAV4 transduction was evident in striated, intercalated, and excretory ductal cells, as well as in convoluted granular tubules. In keeping with the encapsulated nature of the salivary gland, the majority of persistent viral genomes were found in the gland and not in other tissues. Neutralizing antibodies (NABs) found in the serum of virus-infused animals were serotype specific and there was no crossreactivity between serotypes. No NABs were detected in saliva but sialic acid conjugates present in saliva could neutralize AAV4 at low dilutions. Together our data suggest that because of differences in receptor binding and transduction pathways, other serotypes may have improved utility as gene transfer vectors in the salivary gland and these differences could be exploited in gene therapy applications.
This article was published in Gene Ther
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism