Globoid-cell leukodystrophy (GLD) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the galactosylceramidase (GALC) gene. Infantile GLD has a lethal course with severe cerebral demyelination that progresses to death by 2 years of age. In the current study twitcher mice, an authentic murine model of infantile GLD, were given intracranial injections of either recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 2 encoding the murine Galc cDNA (AAV2-GALC) or the same genome pseudotyped with AAV5 capsid proteins (AAV2/5-GALC) on day 3 of age. The group injected intracranially with AAV2/5-GALC had approximately 25-fold greater than normal Galc levels in the brain, while AAV2-GALC-injected animals had 28% normal levels. The average life expectancy of twitcher mice (≈ 38 days) was significantly (P < 0.0001) increased to 48 and 52 days for the AAV2-GALC- and AAV2/ 5-GALC-treated groups, respectively. The AAV2/5-GALC group performed significantly better in a battery of behavioral tests compared to untreated, AAV2-GFP-treated, or AAV2-treated twitcher animals. This longitudinal study demonstrated that AAV2/5-GALC-mediated gene therapy resulted in higher levels of Galc expression and slowed the neurologic deterioration more completely than AAV2-GALC in the murine model of globoid-cell leukodystrophy. However, the clinical improvements, as assessed by behavioral tests and life span, were only modest.
- Behavioral phenotyping
- Globoid cell leukodystrophy
- Krabbe disease
- Lysosomal storage disease
- Recombinant adeno-associated virus