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1.  Antisense Oligonucleotides Delivered to the Mouse CNS Ameliorate Symptoms of Severe Spinal Muscular Atrophy 
Science translational medicine  2011;3(72):72ra18.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder caused by mutations in the SMN1 gene that result in a deficiency of SMN protein. One approach to treat SMA is to use antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) to redirect the splicing of a paralogous gene, SMN2, to boost production of functional SMN. Injection of a 2′-O-2-methoxyethyl–modified ASO (ASO-10-27) into the cerebral lateral ventricles of mice with a severe form of SMA resulted in splice-mediated increases in SMN protein and in the number of motor neurons in the spinal cord, which led to improvements in muscle physiology, motor function and survival. Intrathecal infusion of ASO-10-27 into cynomolgus monkeys delivered putative therapeutic levels of the oligonucleotide to all regions of the spinal cord. These data demonstrate that central nervous system–directed ASO therapy is efficacious and that intrathecal infusion may represent a practical route for delivering this therapeutic in the clinic.
doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3001777
PMCID: PMC3140425  PMID: 21368223
2.  Angiocentric CD3+ T-Cell Infiltrates in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1-Associated Central Nervous System Disease in Children 
A significant proportion of brain tissue specimens from children with AIDS show evidence of vascular inflammation in the form of transmural and/or perivascular mononuclear-cell infiltrates at autopsy. Previous studies have shown that in contrast to inflammatory lesions observed in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) encephalitis, in which monocytes/macrophages are the prevailing mononuclear cells, these infiltrates consist mostly of lymphocytes. Perivascular mononuclear-cell infiltrates were found in brain tissue specimens collected at autopsy from five of six children with AIDS and consisted of CD3+ T cells and equal or greater proportions of CD68+ monocytes/macrophages. Transmural (including endothelial) mononuclear-cell infiltrates were evident in one patient and comprised predominantly CD3+ T cells and small or, in certain vessels, approximately equal proportions of CD68+ monocytes/macrophages. There was a clear preponderance of CD3+ CD8+ T cells on the endothelial side of transmural infiltrates. In active lesions of transmural vasculitis, CD3+ T-cell infiltrates exhibited a distinctive zonal distribution. The majority of CD3+ cells were also CD8+ and CD45RO+. Scattered perivascular monocytes/macrophages in foci of florid vasculitis were immunoreactive for the p24 core protein. In contrast to the perivascular space, the intervening brain neuropil was dominated by monocytes/macrophages, microglia, and reactive astrocytes, containing only scant CD3+ CD8+ cells. Five of six patients showed evidence of calcific vasculopathy, but only two exhibited HIV-1 encephalitis. One patient had multiple subacute cerebral and brainstem infarcts associated with a widespread, fulminant mononuclear-cell vasculitis. A second patient had an old brain infarct associated with fibrointimal thickening of large leptomeningeal vessels. These infiltrating CD3+ T cells may be responsible for HIV-1-associated CNS vasculitis and vasculopathy and for endothelial-cell injury and the opening of the blood-brain barrier in children with AIDS.
PMCID: PMC95669  PMID: 9874673

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