Adenoviral Vectors as Experimental and Therapeutic Tools
Adenoviral-mediated gene transfer to the cardiovascular system is of interest both for gene therapy applications and for the development of genetic overexpression models for pathophysiologic studies in vitro and in vivo. Recombinant adenoviral vectors (Ad) are particularly appealing tools for gene transfer to the cardiovascular system because of their high efficiency and ability to transduce nonreplicating cells, such as vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells, as well as cardiocytes in vitro and in vivo. The disadvantages of these vectors currently limit their clinical application and include the transience of expression and the immune response they evoke. Efforts are underway in many laboratories to improve the adenoviral vector system by deleting immunogenic viral genes or by combining gene transfer with transient immunosuppression. In the meantime, however, the ability of current adenoviral vectors to transduce cardiovascular cells and tissues can be exploited to help elucidate the role of specific molecules in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases. In this way, appropriate molecular strategies can be developed for use as improved vectors become available. In addtion, such experiments can also advance efforts toward human gene therapy by providing insights into vector-host interactions, which can help guide vector development.
KeywordsGene Transfer Adenoviral Vector Recombinant Adenovirus Helper Virus Adenoviral Gene Transfer
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