STUDY QUESTIONIs targeted adenovirus vector, Ad-SSTR-RGD-TK (Adenovirus -human somatostatin receptor subtype 2- arginine, glycine and aspartate-thymidine kinase), given in combination with ganciclovir (GCV) against immortalized human leiomyoma cells (HuLM) a potential therapy for uterine fibroids?SUMMARY ANSWERAd-SSTR-RGD-TK/GCV, a targeted adenovirus, effectively reduces cell growth in HuLM cells and to a significantly greater extent than in human uterine smooth muscle cells (UtSM).WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADYUterine fibroids (leiomyomas), a major cause of morbidity and the most common indication for hysterectomy in premenopausal women, are well-defined tumors, making gene therapy a suitable and potentially effective non-surgical approach for treatment. Transduction of uterine fibroid cells with adenoviral vectors such as Ad-TK/GCV (herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase gene) decreases cell proliferation.STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATIONAn in vitro cell culture method was set up to compare and test the efficacy of a modified adenovirus vector with different multiplicities of infection in two human immortalized cell lines for 5 days.PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODSImmortalized human leiomyoma cells and human uterine smooth muscle cells were infected with different multiplicities of infection (MOI) (5-100 plaque-forming units (pfu)/cell) of a modified Ad-SSTR-RGD-TK vector and subsequently treated with GCV. For comparison, HuLM and UtSM cells were transfected with Ad-TK/GCV and Ad-LacZ/GCV. Cell proliferation was measured using the CyQuant assay in both cell types. Additionally, western blotting was used to assess the expression of proteins responsible for regulating proliferation and apoptosis in the cells.MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCETransduction of HuLM cells with Ad-SSTR-RGD-TK/GCV at 5, 10, 50 and 100 pfu/cell decreased cell proliferation by 28, 33, 45, and 84%, respectively (P < 0.05) compared with untransfected cells, whereas cell proliferation in UtSM cells transfected with the same four MOIs of Ad-SSTR-RGD-TK/GCV compared with that of untransfected cells was decreased only by 8, 23, 25, and 28%, respectively (P < 0.01). Western blot analysis showed that, in comparison with the untargeted vector Ad-TK, Ad-SSTR-RGD-TK/GCV more effectively reduced expression of proteins that regulate the cell cycle (Cyclin D1) and proliferation (PCNA, Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen), and it induced expression of the apoptotic protein BAX, in HuLM cells.LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTIONResults from this study need to be replicated in an appropriate animal model before testing this adenoviral vector in a human trial.WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGSEffective targeting of gene therapy to leiomyoma cells enhances its potential as a non-invasive treatment of uterine fibroids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2398-2406
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • adenovirus vectors
  • gene therapy
  • uterine leiomyomas


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