Long-term correction of bilirubin UDPglucuronyltransferase deficiency in rats by in utero lentiviral gene transfer

J. Seppen, R. van der Rijt, N. Looije, N.P. van Til, W.H. Lamers, R.P.J. Oude Elferink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Long-term correction of bilirubin UDPglucuronyltransferase deficiency in rats by in utero lentiviral gene transfer.

Seppen J, van der Rijt R, Looije N, van Til NP, Lamers WH, Oude Elferink RP.

AMC Liver Center, S1-166, Meibergdreef 69, 1105 BK Amsterdam, The Netherlands. J.seppen@amc.uva.nl

Bilirubin is glucuronidated by bilirubin UDP-glucuronyltransferase (UGT1A1) before biliary excretion. Because bilirubin is toxic, patients with Crigler-Najjar type I (CN), who have no UGT1A1 activity, suffer severe brain damage early in childhood. The Gunn rat is the model for CN type 1. Gunn rat fetuses were injected with 10(7) transducing units of UGT1A1 lentiviral vector at the end of the third trimester on embryonic day 19. Serum bilirubin of injected Gunn rats was lowered by 45% compared to untreated controls. This decrease was highly significant (P < 10(6)) and was sustained for more than a year. In treated Gunn rats, bilirubin glucuronides were present in bile and UGT1A1 protein was detected in tissue. Liver, intestine, stomach, pancreas, and other organs were transduced and mostly contained 1% or less vector copies per genome. Tissue distribution was variable among experimental animals but high transduction levels were seen in pancreas and intestine in most animals. Immunohistochemistry of these organs revealed transduction of pancreatic acinar cells and intestinal epithelium. Injection of a lentiviral UGT1A1 vector into third-trimester Gunn rat fetuses corrects the metabolic deficiency and mediates a reduction of serum bilirubin levels that would be therapeutic in humans
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-599
JournalMolecular Therapy
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

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