Circumvention of anti-adenovirus neutralizing immunity by administration of an adenoviral vector of an alternate serotype
Gene Transfer Techniques
Effective gene transfer and expression following repetitive administration of adenoviral (Ad) vectors in experimental animals is limited by anti-Ad neutralizing antibodies. Knowing that anti-Ad humoral immunity is serotype-specific, we hypothesized that anti-Ad neutralizing immunity could be circumvented using Ad vectors of different serotypes (Ad2, Ad5) within the same subgroup (C) to transfer and express beta-glucuronidase (beta glu) in the lung. Sprague-Dawley rats received an intratracheal administration of either Ad2 beta glu or Ad5 beta glu, and, 14 days later, repeat administration of either the same vector or a vector of a different serotype. Analysis of serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid following initial vector administration demonstrated systemic and local serotype-specific neutralizing antibodies. For both the Ad2 and Ad5 vectors, beta glu expression 24 hr following the second administration of the same serotype was < 30% of that of naive animals. In contrast, beta glu expression 24 hr following second administration of a different serotype Ad vector was similar to expression at 24 hr of naive animals receiving a single administration (Ad5 beta glu followed by Ad2 beta glu, as well as Ad2 beta glu followed by Ad5 beta glu; p > 0.2 both comparisons). Although the alternative serotype bypassed anti-Ad neutralizing immunity, persistence of expression was reduced compared to that following administration to naive animals. Compatible with this observation, systemic administration of the same vectors to C57B1/6 mice demonstrated induction of cytotoxic T lymphocytes directed against the beta glu transgene, as well as products of the Ad genome. Interestingly, intratracheal administration of vectors with different serotypes and different transgenes to rats resulted in longer expression (but still not normalized) compared to that achieved with vectors of different serotypes but the same transgene. These observations demonstrate that alternate use of Ad vectors from different serotypes within the same subgroup can circumvent anti-Ad humoral immunity to permit effective gene transfer after repeat administration, although the chronicity of expression is limited, likely by cellular immune process directed against both the transgene and viral gene products expressed by the vector.