Neuroprotective Effects of Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Mediated by an Adeno-Associated Virus Vector in a Transgenic Animal Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Li-Jun Wang, Yan-Yan Lu, Shin-ichi Muramatsu, Kunihiko Ikeguchi, Ken-ichi Fujimoto, Takashi Okada, Hiroaki Mizukami, Takashi Matsushita, Yutaka Hanazono, Akihiro Kume, Toshiharu Nagatsu, Keiya Ozawa (+1 others)
2002 Journal of Neuroscience  
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a relentlessly progressive lethal disease that involves selective annihilation of motoneurons. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is proposed to be a promising therapeutic agent for ALS and other motor neuron diseases. Because adeno-associated virus (AAV) has been developed as an attractive gene delivery system with proven safety, we explored the therapeutic efficacy of intramuscular delivery of the GDNF gene mediated by an AAV vector
more » ... an AAV vector (AAV-GDNF) in the G93A mouse model of ALS. We show here that AAV-GDNF leads to substantial and long-lasting expression of transgenic GDNF in a large number of myofibers with its accumulation at the sites of neuromuscular junctions. Detection of GDNF labeled with FLAG in the anterior horn neurons, but not ␤-galactosidase expressed as a control, indicates that most of the transgenic GDNF observed there is retrogradely transported GDNF protein from the transduced muscles. This transgenic GDNF prevents motoneurons from their degeneration, preserves their axons innervating the muscle, and inhibits the treated-muscle atrophy. Furthermore, four-limb injection of AAV-GDNF postpones the disease onset, delays the progression of the motor dysfunction, and prolongs the life span in the treated ALS mice. Our finding thus indicates that AAV-mediated GDNF delivery to the muscle is a promising means of gene therapy for ALS.
doi:10.1523/jneurosci.22-16-06920.2002 pmid:12177190 fatcat:vlpdji7agreqdgmyb65w366yoe