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Promoter-activated expression of nerve growth factor for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

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By Wyman T, Rohrer D, Kirigiti P, Nichols H, Pilcher • • October 1, 1999

Genetic transfer approaches have received recent consideration as potential treatment modalities for human central and peripheral nervous system (CNS and PNS, respectively) neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Transplantation of genetically modified cells into the brain represents a promising strategy for the delivery and expression of specific neurotrophic factors, neurotransmitter-synthesizing enzymes, and cellular regulatory proteins for intervention in neurodegenerative diseases. The use of specific regulatable promoters may also provide potential control of gene expression required for dose-specific or time-specific therapeutic strategies. In this article, we review the potential use of activated promoters in ex vivo systems for the potential genetic therapy of neurodegenerative disorders, and then describe our own studies using the zinc-inducible metallothionein promoter for the regulated expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) in rodent brain transplants

Source: Gene Ther 1999 Oct;6(10):1648-1660

(Division of Neuroscience, Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, Oregon Health Sciences University, Beaverton, OR, USA. )

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