Mol Ther. 2003 Dec;8(6):886-94
Jerusalmi A, Morris-Downes MM, Sheahan BJ, Atkins GJ.
Department of Microbiology, Moyne Institute of Preventive Medicine, Trinity College, 2, Dublin, Ireland
We have initiated studies to determine the feasibility of employing the Semliki Forest virus (SFV) expression system as a central nervous system (CNS) vector.
We investigated the effects of infecting Balb/c mice intranasally (i.n.) with recombinant SFV particles expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) reporter gene.
EGFP expression was detected by fluorescence microscopy in the olfactory bulb as early as 1 day postinfection.
No pathological changes were associated with infection.
Viral RNA could be detected in the olfactory mucosa only, whereas fluorescence was detected in axons in the olfactory bulb, indicating that only the expressed protein was present.
A vector expressing interleukin 10 (IL-10) was constructed and shown to induce good cytokine expression in cultured cells.
IL-10 expression in the nasal passage and olfactory bulb of infected mice was enhanced following i.n. administration of such particles.
Mice induced for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) were treated i.n. with vectors expressing EGFP and IL-10 and with empty vector.
The EGFP-expressing and empty vectors were found to exacerbate EAE, whereas that expressing IL-10 ameliorated EAE.
It is concluded that the mice showed a significant biological response when treated i.n. with recombinant SFV particles and that such particles administered by the i.n. route have potential as a noninvasive vector for protein delivery to the CNS.