Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD), a fatal disorder caused by deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme arylsulfatase A (ARSA), is associated with an accumulation of sulfatides, causing widespread demyelination in both central and peripheral nervous systems. On the basis of prior studies demonstrating that adeno-associated virus AAVrh.10 can mediate widespread distribution in the CNS of a secreted lysosomal transgene, and as a prelude to human trials, we comparatively assessed the optimal CNS delivery route of an AAVrh.10 vector encoding human ARSA in a large animal model for broadest distribution of ARSA enzyme. Five routes were tested (each total dose, 1.5×1012genome copies of AAVrh.10hARSA-FLAG): (1) delivery to white matter centrum ovale; (2) deep gray matter delivery (putamen, thalamus, and caudate) plus overlying white matter; (3) convection-enhanced delivery to same deep gray matter locations; (4) lateral cerebral ventricle; and (5) intraarterial delivery with hyperosmotic mannitol to the middle cerebral artery. After 13 weeks, the distribution of ARSA activity subsequent to each of the three direct intraparenchymal administration routes was significantly higher than in phosphate-buffered saline-administered controls, but administration by the intraventricular and intraarterial routes failed to demonstrate measurable levels above controls. Immunohistochemical staining in the cortex, white matter, deep gray matter of the striatum, thalamus, choroid plexus, and spinal cord dorsal root ganglions confirmed these results. Of the five routes studied, administration to the white matter generated the broadest distribution of ARSA, with 80% of the brain displaying more than a therapeutic (10%) increase in ARSA activity above PBS controls. No significant toxicity was observed with any delivery route as measured by safety parameters, although some inflammatory changes were seen by histopathology. We conclude that AAVrh.10-mediated delivery of ARSA via CNS administration into the white matter is likely to be safe and yields the widest distribution of ARSA, making it the most suitable route of vector delivery.
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