Author(s): Cheng DY, Kolls JK, Lei D, Noel RA
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Abstract The intestine is proposed to be an attractive target site for somatic gene therapy due to a large mass of proliferating tissue and stem cells in the crypts. Previous studies using a retroviral vector have shown that a reporter gene, bacterial beta-galactosidase (beta-Gal), can be transferred and expressed in the small intestinal epithelial cell. However, transduction efficiency is relatively low in rat and mice intestines. In the present study, we employed an E1-deleted adenoviral vector (which encodes the beta-Gal gene) to investigate the feasibility of gene transfer into rat small intestinal epithelial cell lines and small intestines in male Sprague-Dawley rats. In in vitro studies, expression of AdCMV beta gal was quantitatively measured in IEC-6 and IEC-18 cell cultures using X-Gal histochemistry and chemiluminescent reporter gene assays. The results indicate that AdCMV beta gal can be efficiently transferred into intestinal epithelial cell lines and transgene expression is virus concentration dependent. In in vivo studies, a 5F intestinal feeding tube was used to deliver the vector to the duodenal segment of the rat. Expression of AdCMV beta gal was primarily localized to the epithelium of the intestinal tract. Transduction efficiency of the transgene was seen in the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and, to a lesser extent, the colon. Moreover, following a single or secondary administration of recombinant adenovirus, efficient expression of AdCMV beta gal in the intestinal tract peaked at 3 days and decreased by 7 and 14 days. No antiadenoviral antibody response was detected in the serum after a single or secondary challenge with this virus. These findings demonstrate that an E1-deleted adenoviral vector, when administered through an oral-duodenal tube, transfers genetic material more successfully in the intestinal epithelium in the small intestine when compared to the large intestine. A single or secondary challenge with adenoviral vector does not cause enhanced host immune responses to this virus. It suggests that successful gene transduction by the repeat administration of the adenoviral vector makes it an alternative candidate for gene therapy applications in intestinal diseases and metabolic deficiencies.
This article was published in Hum Gene Ther
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy