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Rescue of Hereditary Form of Dilated Cardiomyopathy by rAAV-Mediated Somatic Gene Therapy: Amelioration of Morphological Findings, Sarcolemmal Permeability, Cardiac Performances, and the Prognosis of TO-2 Hamsters

Tomie Kawada, Mikio Nakazawa, Sakura Nakauchi, Ken Yamazaki, Ryoichi Shimamoto, Masashi Urabe, Jumi Nakata, Chieko Hemmi, Fujiko Masui, Toshiaki Nakajima, Jun-Ichi Suzuki, John Monahan, Hiroshi Sato, Tomoh Masaki, Keiya Ozawa and Teruhiko Toyo-oka
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 99, No. 2 (Jan. 22, 2002), pp. 901-906
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3057663
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Rescue of Hereditary Form of Dilated Cardiomyopathy by rAAV-Mediated Somatic Gene Therapy: Amelioration of Morphological Findings, Sarcolemmal Permeability, Cardiac Performances, and the Prognosis of TO-2 Hamsters
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Abstract

The hereditary form comprises ≈1/5 of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and is a major cause of advanced heart failure. Medical and socioeconomic settings require novel treatments other than cardiac transplantation. TO-2 strain hamsters with congenital DCM show similar clinical and genetic backgrounds to human cases that have defects in the δ-sarcoglycan (δ-SG) gene. To examine the long-term in vivo supplement of normal δ-SG gene driven by cytomegalovirus promoter, we analyzed the pathophysiologic effects of the transgene expression in TO-2 hearts by using recombinant adeno-associated virus vector. The transgene preserved sarcolemmal permeability detected in situ by mutual exclusivity between cardiomyocytes taking up intravenously administered Evans blue dye and expressing the δ-SG transgene throughout life. The persistent amelioration of sarcolemmal integrity improved wall thickness and the calcification score postmortem. Furthermore, in vivo myocardial contractility and hemodynamics, measured by echocardiography and cardiac catheterization, respectively, were normalized, especially in the diastolic performance. Most importantly, the survival period of the TO-2 hamsters was prolonged after the δ-SG gene transduction, and the animals remained active, exceeding the life expectancy of animals without transduction of the responsible gene. These results provide the first evidence that somatic gene therapy is promising for human DCM treatment, if the rAAV vector can be justified for clinical use.

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