Mol Ther 2007 Jan;15(1):44-52
Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, USA.
Globoid-cell leukodystrophy (GLD) is a rapidly progressing inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by a deficiency in galactosylceramidase activity. Previous studies in the murine model of GLD (Twitcher mouse) have shown that both bone marrow transplantation (BMT) and central nervous system (CNS)-directed gene therapy can be moderately effective at ameliorating certain aspects of GLD. As BMT and CNS-directed gene therapy target fundamentally different tissues, we tested the hypothesis that combining these disparate therapies would be more efficacious than either therapy alone. Mice receiving myeloreductive conditioning at birth followed by syngeneic BMT had approximately 25-35% donor chimerism. Untreated Twitcher mice, Twitcher mice treated with BMT alone, AAV2/5 alone, or a combination of BMT and AAV2/5 had mean lifespans of 39, 44, 49, and 104 days, respectively. Twitcher mice treated with a combination of BMT and AAV2/5 also had significantly improved performance in several behavioral tests and greater reduction in demyelination, astrocytosis, and macrophage infiltration compared to untreated Twitcher mice or mice that received either therapy alone. These data suggest that CNS-directed gene therapy synergizes with BMT. The combination of these disparate therapeutic approaches may form the basis for more effective treatment of this inherited neurodegenerative disorder.