BackgroundMutation of the IL2RG gene results in a form of severe combined immune deficiency (SCID-X1), which has been treated successfully with hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy. SCID-X1 gene therapy results in reconstitution of the previously lacking T cell compartment, allowing analysis of the roles of T cell immunity in humans by comparing before and after gene correction.
MethodsHere we interrogate T cell reconstitution using four forms of high throughput analysis. (1) Estimation of the numbers of transduced progenitor cells by monitoring unique positions of integration of the therapeutic gene transfer vector. (2) Estimation of T cell population structure by sequencing of the recombined T cell receptor (TCR) beta locus. (3) Metagenomic analysis of microbial populations in oropharyngeal, nasopharyngeal, and gut samples. (4) Metagenomic analysis of viral populations in gut samples.
ResultsComparison of progenitor and mature T cell populations allowed estimation of a minimum number of cell divisions needed to generate the observed populations. Analysis of microbial populations showed the effects of immune reconstitution, including normalization of gut microbiota and clearance of viral infections. Metagenomic analysis revealed enrichment of genes for antibiotic resistance in gene-corrected subjects relative to healthy controls, likely a result of higher healthcare exposure.
ConclusionsThis multi-omic approach enables the characterization of multiple effects of SCID-X1 gene therapy, including T cell repertoire reconstitution, estimation of numbers of cell divisions between progenitors and daughter T cells, normalization of the microbiome, clearance of microbial pathogens, and modulations in antibiotic resistance gene levels. Together, these results quantify several aspects of the long-term efficacy of gene therapy for SCID-X1. This study includes data from ClinicalTrials.gov numbers NCT01410019, NCT01175239, and NCT01129544.