Biochemical, histological and functional correction of mucopolysaccharidosis Type IIIB by intra-cerebrospinal fluid gene therapy

Albert Ribera, Virginia Haurigot, Sara Marcó, Sandra Motas, Pilar Villacampa, Xavier León, Maria Molas, Víctor Sánchez, Sergio Muñoz, Christian Leborgne, Maria Fatima Bosch Tubert, Sonia Añor Torres, Jesus Ruberte Paris, Javier Moll Sanchez, Federico Mingozzi ., Marti Pumarola Batlle, Luca Maggioni ., Miguel Garcia Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


© The Author 2014. Gene therapy is an attractive tool for the treatment of monogenic disorders, in particular for lysosomal storage diseases (LSD) caused by deficiencies in secretable lysosomal enzymes in which neither full restoration of normal enzymatic activity nor transduction of all affected cells are necessary. However, some LSD such as Mucopolysaccharidosis Type IIIB (MPSIIIB) are challenging because the disease's main target organ is the brain and enzymes do not efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier even if present at very high concentration in circulation. To overcome these limitations,we delivered AAV9 vectors encoding for α-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAGLU) to the Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) of MPSIIIB mice with the disease already detectable at biochemical, histological and functional level. Restoration of enzymatic activity in Central Nervous System (CNS) resulted in normalization of glycosaminoglycan content and lysosomal physiology, resolved neuroinflammation and restored the pattern of gene expression in brain similar to that of healthy animals. Additionally, transduction of the liver due to passage of vectors to the circulation led to whole-body disease correction. Treated animals also showed reversal of behavioural deficits and extended lifespan. Importantly, when the levels of enzymatic activity were monitored in the CSF of dogs following administration of canine NAGLU-coding vectors to animals that were either naïve or had pre-existing immunity against AAV9, similar levels of activity were achieved, suggesting that CNS efficacy would not be compromised in patients seropositive for AAV9. Our studies provide a strong rationale for the clinical development of this novel therapeutic approach as the treatment for MPSIIIB.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2078-2095
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2014


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