Schwann cell targeting via intrasciatic injection of AAV8 as gene therapy strategy for peripheral nerve regeneration

J. Homs, L. Ariza, G. Pagès, E. Udina, X. Navarro, M. Chillón, A. Bosch

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54 Citations (Scopus)


Efficient transduction of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) is required for gene therapy of acquired and inherited neuropathies, neuromuscular diseases and for pain treatment. We have characterized the tropism and transduction efficiency of different adeno-associated vectors (AAV) pseudotypes after sciatic nerve injection in the mouse. Among the pseudotypes tested, AAV2/1 transduced both Schwann cells and neurons, AAV2/2 infected only sensory neurons and AAV2/8 preferentially transduced Schwann cells. AAV2/8 expression in the sciatic nerve was detected up to 10 weeks after administration, the latest time point analyzed. The injected mice developed neutralizing antibodies against all AAVs tested; the titers were higher against AAV2/1 than AAV2/2 and were the lowest for AAV2/8, correlating with a higher transgene expression overtime. AAV2/8 coding for ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) led to an upregulation of P0 and PMP22 myelin proteins, four weeks after transduction of injured sciatic nerves. Importantly, CNTF-transduced mice showed a significant increase in both GAP43 expression in sensory neurons, a marker of axonal regeneration, and the compound muscle action potential. These results prove the utility of AAV8 as a gene therapy vector for Schwann cells to treat myelin disorders or to improve nerve regeneration. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-630
JournalGene Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • AAV tropism
  • AAV8 serotype
  • CNTF
  • PNS regeneration
  • Schwann cells


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