Neonatal gene transfer leads to widespread correction of pathology in a murine model of lysosomal storage disease

Thomas M. Daly, Carole Vogler, Beth Levy, Mark E. Haskins, Mark S. Sands

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182 Scopus citations


For many inborn errors of metabolism, early treatment is critical to prevent long-term developmental sequelae. We have used a gene-therapy approach to demonstrate this concept in a murine model of mucopolysaccharidosis type VII (MPS VII). Newborn MPS VII mice received a single intravenous injection with 5.4 x 106 infectious units of recombinant adeno-associated virus encoding the human β-glucuronidase (GUSB) cDNA. Therapeutic levels of GUSB expression were achieved by 1 week of age in liver, heart, lung, spleen, kidney, brain, and retina. GUSB expression persisted in most organs for the 16-week duration of the study at levels sufficient to either reduce or prevent completely lysosomal storage. Of particular significance, neurons, microglia, and meninges of the central nervous system were virtually cleared of disease. In addition, neonatal treatment of MPS VII mice provided access to the central nervous system via an intravenous route, avoiding a more invasive procedure later in life. These data suggest that gene transfer mediated by adeno-associated virus can achieve therapeutically relevant levels of enzyme very early in life and that the rapid growth and differentiation of tissues does not limit long-term expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2296-2300
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2 1999


  • Adeno-associated virus
  • Animal models
  • Gene therapy
  • Metabolic disease
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis type VII


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