Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Extensive efforts to develop hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) based gene therapy have been hampered by low gene marking. Major emphasis has so far been directed at improving gene transfer efficiency, but low gene marking in transplanted recipients might equally well reflect compromised repopulating activity of transduced cells, competing for reconstitution with endogenous and unmanipulated stem cells. METHODS: The autologous settings of clinical gene therapy protocols preclude evaluation of changes in repopulating ability following transduction; however, using a congenic mouse model, allowing for direct evaluation of gene marking of lympho-myeloid progeny, we show here that these issues can be accurately addressed. RESULTS: We demonstrate that conditions supporting in vitro stem cell self-renewal efficiently promote oncoretroviral-mediated gene transfer to multipotent adult bone marrow stem cells, without prior in vivo conditioning. Despite using optimized culture conditions, transduction resulted in striking losses of repopulating activity, translating into low numbers of gene marked cells in competitively repopulated mice. Subjecting transduced HSCs to an ex vivo expansion protocol following the transduction procedure could partially reverse this loss. CONCLUSIONS: These studies suggest that loss of repopulating ability of transduced HSCs rather than low gene transfer efficiency might be the main problem in clinical gene therapy protocols, and that a clinically feasible ex vivo expansion approach post-transduction can markedly improve reconstitution with gene marked stem cells.

Original publication




Journal article


J Gene Med

Publication Date





137 - 144


Animals, Cell Proliferation, DNA Primers, Flow Cytometry, Genetic Therapy, Genetic Vectors, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Mice, NIH 3T3 Cells, Neoplasms, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Retroviridae, Statistics, Nonparametric, Transduction, Genetic