Anti-Phospho-Tau Gene Therapy for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Chester Bittencourt Sacramento, Dolan Sondhi, Jonathan B. Rosenberg, Alvin Chen, Stephanie Giordano, Eduard Pey, Vladlena Lee, Katie M. Stiles, David F. Havlicek, Philip L. Leopold, Stephen M. Kaminsky, Ronald G. Crystal

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by repetitive trauma to the central nervous system (CNS) suffered by soldiers, contact sport athletes, and civilians following accident-related trauma. CTE is a CNS tauopathy, with trauma-induced inflammation leading to accumulation of hyperphosphorylated forms of the microtubule-binding protein Tau (pTau), resulting in neurofibrillary tangles and progressive loss of neurons. At present, there are no therapies to treat CTE. We hypothesized that direct CNS administration of an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector coding for an anti-pTau antibody would generate sufficient levels of anti-pTau in the CNS to suppress pTau accumulation thus interrupting the pathogenic process. Using a serotype AAVrh.10 gene transfer vector coding for a monoclonal antibody directed against pTau, we demonstrate the feasibility of this strategy in a murine CTE model in which pTau accumulation was elicited by repeated traumatic brain injury (TBI) using a closed cortical impact procedure over 5 days. Direct delivery of AAVrh.10 expression vectors coding for either of the two different anti-pTau antibodies to the hippocampus of these TBI mice significantly reduced pTau levels across the CNS. Using doses that can be safely scaled to humans, the data demonstrate that CNS administration of AAVrh.10anti-pTau is effective, providing a new strategy to interrupt the CTE consequences of TBI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-69
Number of pages13
JournalHuman gene therapy
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020



  • AAV gene therapy
  • anti-pTau antibody
  • tauopathy
  • traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • vector-mediated CNS delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Sacramento, C. B., Sondhi, D., Rosenberg, J. B., Chen, A., Giordano, S., Pey, E., Lee, V., Stiles, K. M., Havlicek, D. F., Leopold, P. L., Kaminsky, S. M., & Crystal, R. G. (2020). Anti-Phospho-Tau Gene Therapy for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Human gene therapy, 31(1-2), 57-69.