Author(s): DiFiglia M, SenaEsteves M, Chase K, Sapp E, Pfister E, , DiFiglia M, SenaEsteves M, Chase K, Sapp E, Pfister E, , DiFiglia M, SenaEsteves M, Chase K, Sapp E, Pfister E, , DiFiglia M, SenaEsteves M, Chase K, Sapp E, Pfister E,
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Abstract Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by expansion of a CAG repeat in the huntingtin (Htt) gene. HD is autosomal dominant and, in theory, amenable to therapeutic RNA silencing. We introduced cholesterol-conjugated small interfering RNA duplexes (cc-siRNA) targeting human Htt mRNA (siRNA-Htt) into mouse striata that also received adeno-associated virus containing either expanded (100 CAG) or wild-type (18 CAG) Htt cDNA encoding huntingtin (Htt) 1-400. Adeno-associated virus delivery to striatum and overlying cortex of the mutant Htt gene, but not the wild type, produced neuropathology and motor deficits. Treatment with cc-siRNA-Htt in mice with mutant Htt prolonged survival of striatal neurons, reduced neuropil aggregates, diminished inclusion size, and lowered the frequency of clasping and footslips on balance beam. cc-siRNA-Htt was designed to target human wild-type and mutant Htt and decreased levels of both in the striatum. Our findings indicate that a single administration into the adult striatum of an siRNA targeting Htt can silence mutant Htt, attenuate neuronal pathology, and delay the abnormal behavioral phenotype observed in a rapid-onset, viral transgenic mouse model of HD.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Molecular Biology: Open Access