Intrapleural administration of a serotype 5 adeno-associated virus coding for α1-antitrypsin mediates persistent, high lung and serum levels of α1-antitrypsin
alpha1-Antitrypsin (alpha1AT) is a serine proteinase inhibitor that protects the lung from degradation by neutrophil proteases. In alpha1AT deficiency, an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from mutations in the alpha1AT (approved symbol SERPINA1) gene, serum alpha1AT levels of < 570 microg/ml are associated with development of emphysema. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotype 2 (AAV2) vectors expressing alpha1AT administered intramuscularly or intravenously mediate sustained serum levels of alpha1AT in experimental animals. Since the lung is only 2% of the body weight, AAV vector delivery to the muscle or liver is inefficient, as most of the alpha1AT does not reach the lung. The present study evaluates AAV2- and AAV5-mediated delivery of human alpha1AT (halpha1AT) to C57BL/6 mice using the intrapleural space as a platform for local production of alpha1AT. Intrapleural administration of either an AAV5-halpha1AT or an AAV2-halpha1AT vector achieves higher lung and serum levels of alpha1AT than intramuscular delivery. AAV5-mediated serum and lung alpha1AT levels were 10-fold higher than those achieved by AAV2 delivery via either route. The diaphragm, lung, and heart are the major sites of transgene expression following intrapleural administration of an AAV5 reporter vector. At 40 weeks postadministration, intrapleural administration of the AAV5-halpha1AT vector mediated serum alpha1AT levels of 900 +/- 50 microg/ml, 1.6-fold higher than the accepted therapeutic level of 570 microg/ml. In the context that the pleura is a safe site for administration, intrapleural administration using AAV5 vectors may represent an attractive gene therapy strategy for alpha1AT deficiency in humans.