Safety of liver gene transfer following peripheral intravascular delivery of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-5 and AAV-6 in a large animal model.Hum Gene Ther 2011; 22(7):843-52HG
Intravascular delivery of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector is commonly used for liver-directed gene therapy. In humans, the high prevalence of neutralizing antibodies to AAV-2 capsid and the wide cross-reactivity with other serotypes hamper vector transduction efficacy. Moreover, the safety of gene-based approaches depends on vector biodistribution, vector dose, and route of administration. Here we sought to characterize the safety of AAV-5 and AAV-6 for liver-mediated human factor IX (hFIX) expression in rabbits at doses of 1 × 10(12) or 1 × 10(13) viral genomes/kg. Circulating therapeutic levels of FIX were observed in both cohorts of AAV-6-hFIX, whereas for AAV-5-hFIX only the high dose was effective. Long-lasting inhibitory antibodies to hFIX were detected in three of the 10 AAV-6-injected animals but were absent in the AAV-5 group. Overall, vector shedding in the semen was transient and vector dose-dependent. However, the kinetics of clearance were remarkably faster for AAV-5 (3-5 weeks) compared with AAV-6 (10-13 weeks). AAV-6 vector sequences outside the liver were minimal at 20-30 weeks post-injection. In contrast, AAV-5 exhibited relatively high amounts of vector DNA in tissues other than the liver. Together these data are useful to further define the safety and potential for clinical translation of these AAV vectors.