Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 7 (CLN7) disease is a lysosomal storage disease caused by mutations in the facilitator superfamily domain containing 8 (MFSD8) gene, which encodes a membrane-bound lysosomal protein, MFSD8. To test the effectiveness and safety of adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapy, an in vitro study demonstrated that AAV2/MFSD8 dose dependently rescued lysosomal function in fibroblasts from a CLN7 patient. An in vivo efficacy study using intrathecal administration of AAV9/MFSD8 to Mfsd8– /– mice at P7–P10 or P120 with high or low dose led to clear age- and dose-dependent effects. A high dose of AAV9/MFSD8 at P7–P10 resulted in widespread MFSD8 mRNA expression, tendency of amelioration of subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase accumulation and glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity, normalization of impaired behaviors, doubled median life span, and extended normal body weight gain. In vivo safety studies in rodents concluded that intrathecal administration of AAV9/MFSD8 was safe and well tolerated. In summary, these results demonstrated that the AAV9/MFSD8 vector is both effective and safe in preclinical models.


Xin Chen, Thomas Dong, Yuhui Hu, Frances C. Shaffo, Nandkishore R. Belur, Joseph R. Mazzulli, Steven J. Gray


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