Long-term human growth hormone expression and partial phenotypic correction by plasmid-based gene therapy in an animal model of isolated growth hormone deficiency

Nélio A.J. Oliveira, Cláudia R. Cecchi, Eliza Higuti, João E. Oliveira, Thomas G. Jensen, Paolo Bartolini, Cibele N. Peroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: A model for in vivo gene therapy based on electroporation of human growth hormone (hGH)-coding naked DNA in the muscle of dwarf (lit/lit) and immunodeficient dwarf (lit/scid) mice is described. Methods: A plasmid containing the ubiquitin C promoter and the genomic hGH sequence was administered to the exposed quadriceps muscle, followed by electrotransfer using eight 50-V pulses of 20 ms at a 0.5-s interval. Serum hGH levels were determined after various days of DNA administration and a long-term body weight gain experiment was carried out. Results: Serum hGH, determined 3 days after DNA administration, revealed a significant dose-response curve (p < 0.01) in the 0-50 μg range. Because 50 μg of plasmid DNA produced circulating hGH levels of 2-3 ng/ml for at least 12 days, a long-term body weight gain assay was carried out. After 60 days, the weight of treated lit/scid mice increased 33.1% compared to a 4.2% weight decrease for the control group. hGH circulating levels were of the order of 1.5-3 ng/ml throughout the experiment and the average weight increase during the first 10 days was comparable to that obtained upon regular daily injection of 10 μg of recombinant hGH per mouse, producing comparable circulating levels of the hormone. A lower, but still significant increase in body weight was obtained upon repeating the experiment in immunocompetent dwarf mice (lit/lit). Conclusions: We report for the first time sustained levels of circulating hGH after intramuscular naked DNA administration and, consequently, a highly significant weight increase of dwarf 'little' mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-585
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Gene Medicine
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • Electroporation
  • Gene therapy
  • Human growth hormone
  • Little mice
  • Naked DNA
  • Nonviral vector

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