Retroviral mediated gene transfer into stem cells has been proposed as therapy for many inherited hematopoietic diseases. Deficiency of the enzyme adenosine deaminase (ADA) results in depletion of T lymphocytes, causing severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (SCIDS). In this report, we describe retroviral mediated gene transfer of a murine ADA cDNA into Rhesus monkey hematopoietic stem cells. Immunoselected CD34+ bone marrow cells were exposed to medium containing the ADA retrovirus during culture on a stromal cell line engineered to express the transmembrane form of stem cell factor. After infusion of autologous, transduced cells into irradiated recipients, gene transfer was observed in all three monkeys. The ADA provirus was detected in 2% of circulating granulocytes and T cells from 100 days post-transplantation to longer than 1 year and in B cells from 250 days post-transplantation and beyond. Mouse ADA activity was detected in peripheral blood cells at approximately 3% the activity of monkey ADA. Thus, we have shown gene transfer into repopulating cells that contribute to all hematopoietic lineages with persistent gene expression. These data provide support for the use of stem cell targeted gene transfer for therapy of ADA deficiency.

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