Joseph, P. M., O'Sullivan, B. P., Lapey, A., Dorkin, H., Oren, J., Balfour, R., Perricone, M. A., Rosenberg, M., Wadsworth, S. C., Smith, A. E., St George, J. A. & Meeker, D. P.
Hum Gene Ther, 12, 1369-1382Pubmed Back
Cystic fibrosis (CF), an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from mutations in the cystic fibrosis trans-membrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, is the most common lethal genetic illness in the Caucasian population. Gene transfer to airway epithelium, using adenoviruses containing normal CFTR cDNA, leads to transient production of CFTR mRNA and, in some studies, to correction of the airway epithelial ion transport defect caused by dysfunctional CFTR. Inflammatory responses to the adenoviral vector have been reported, particularly at high viral titers. We evaluated the effects of adenovirus-mediated CFTR gene transfer to airway epithelium in 36 subjects with CF (34 individuals, 2 of whom received two separate doses of vector), 20 by lobar instillation and 16 by aerosol administration. Doses ranged from 8 x 10(6) to 2.5 x 10(10) infective units (IU), in 0.5-log increments. After lobar administration of low doses there were occasional reports of cough, low-grade temperature, and myalgias. At the highest lobar dose (2.5 x 10(9) IU) two of three patients had transient myalgias, fever, and increased sputum production with obvious infiltrates on CT scan. After aerosol administration there were no significant systemic symptoms until the 2.5 x 10(10) IU dose, when both patients experienced myalgias and fever that resolved within 24 hr. There were no infiltrates seen on chest CT scans in any of the patients in the aerosol administration group. There were no consistent changes in pulmonary function tests or any significant rise in serum IgG or neutralizing antibodies in patients from either group. Serum, sputum, and nasal cytokines, measured before and after vector administration, showed no correlation with adenoviral dose. Gene transfer to lung cells was inefficient and expression was transient. Cells infected with the vector included mononuclear inflammatory cells as well as cuboidal and columnar epithelial cells. In summary, we found no consistent immune response, no evidence of viral shedding, and no consistent change in pulmonary function in response to adenovirus-mediated CFTR gene transfer. At higher doses there was a mild, nonspecific inflammatory response, as evidenced by fevers and myalgias. Overall, vector administration was tolerated but transfer of CFTR cDNA was inefficient and transgene expression was transient for the doses and method of administration used here.