As a first step in the development of a gene therapy approach to epilepsy, we evaluated the ability of adenovirus vectors to direct the transfer into and expression of a marker gene in human brain slices obtained from patients undergoing surgery for medically intractable epilepsy. Following injection of adenovirus vectors containing the Escherichia coli lacZ gene into hippocampal and cortical brain slices, lacZ mRNA, β-galactosidase protein, and enzymatic activity were detected, confirming successful gene transfer, transcription, and translation into a functional protein. Transfected cells were predominantly glial, with some neurons expressing β-galactosidase as well. These results support the potential of adenovirus vectors to transfer genetic information into human epileptogenic brain, resulting in expression of the gene into a functional protein. These findings also have implications for the development of gene therapy approaches to certain seizure disorders. A number of potential therapeutic approaches are discussed, including the elevation of inhibitory neurotransmitter or neuropeptide levels, expression or modulation of postsynaptic receptors, and manipulation of signal transduction Systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Neuroscience