Most viral gene delivery systems utilized to date have demonstrated significant limitations in practicality and safety due to the level and duration of recombinant transgene expression as well as their induction of host immunogenicity to vector proteins. Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors appear to offer a vehicle for safe, long-term therapeutic gene transfer; factors afforded through the propensity of rAAV to establish long-term latency without deleterious effects on the host cell and the relative non-immunogenicity of the virus or viral expressed transgenes. The principal historical limitation of this vector system, efficiency of rAAV-mediated transduction, has recently observed a dramatic increase as the titer, purity, and production capacity of rAAV preparations have improved. In terms of systems that could benefit from such improvements, rAAV gene therapy to enhance solid organ transplantation would appear an obvious choice with islet transplantation forming a promising candidate due to the ability to perform viral transductions ex vivo. Currently, islet transplantation can be used to treat type 1 diabetes yet persisting alloimmune and autoimmune responses represent major obstacles to the clinical success for this procedure. The delivery of transgenes capable of interfering with antigenic recognition and/or cell death (e.g., Fas ligand (FasL), Bcl-2, Bcl-X L ) as well as imparting tolerance immunoregulation [e.g., interleukin(IL)-4, IL-10, transforming growth factor (TGF)?b], or cytoprotection [e.g., heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), catalase, manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD)) may prevent recurrent type 1 diabetes in islet transplantation and offer a promising form of immunotherapy. Research investigations utilizing such systems may also provide information vital to understanding the immunoregulatory mechanisms critical to the development of both alloimmune and autoimmune islet cell rejection mechanisms and recurrent type 1 diabetes.
Keywords: Adeno-Associated Virus, Pancreatic Islet, Type 1 Diabetes, Transplantation, rAAV, DIABETES, T cell activation, Immunomodulation, Cell death, apoptosis, oxidative damage
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