Adeno-Associated Virus Vectors: Immunobiology and Potential Use for Immune Modulation
Grant J. Logan and Ian E. Alexander
Affiliation: Gene Therapy Research Unit, Children’s Medical Research Institute, Locked Bag 23, Wentworthville NSW 2145, Sydney, Australia.
Recombinant viral vectors based on the human parvovirus, adeno-associated virus (AAV) show considerable
promise for human therapeutic application. An important feature that sets this gene transfer system apart from other contemporary
virus-based systems is relatively weak induction of innate and cognate immune responses, such that in defined
contexts foreign antigens can be expressed long-term in immune competent hosts. This in turn has led to increasing interest
in the possibility of exploiting AAV for immune system modulation, including both the induction and avoidance of antigen-
specific responses, depending on the therapeutic need. This interest is fuelled by the recognition that the full potential
of cell and gene based therapies cannot be realised without parallel developments in therapeutic immune system
modulation that allow specific rather than generalised immunosuppression. This review outlines current understanding of
AAV immunobiology and explores its potential as a tool for therapeutic manipulation of immune system responses.
Keywords: Adeno-associated virus, gene transfer vector, genetic vaccine, immune modulation, immune tolerance, vaccine,
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