Publication date: Aug 06, 2019
The types of treatments and interventions being developed for chronic neurodegenerative disorders have expanded considerably in recent years. In addition to the variety of targets being pursued, strategies have moved from symptom management to more directed disease-modifying approaches. Among them are antibody-based therapies, which are not only being evaluated for a range of tauopathies and synucleinopathies, but are also emerging as a potential application for monogenic disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), including Huntington’s disease (HD). Despite the excitement around the early trial data of anti-sense oligonucleotides (ASO) treatment for such disorders, antibody therapies may hold the key to tackling another aspect of the disease that could be critical to its pathogenesis. While gene-based methodologies are designed to lower, predominantly within cellular elements, mutant huntingtin protein (mHtt) – the genetic product of HD – the pathological protein is abundant in free forms and in several compartments including the cerebrospinal fluid, the plasma and the extracellular matrix. With accumulating evidence for the spreading and seeding capacities of mHtt, it may indeed be essential to target the protein both intracellularly and extracellularly. Therefore, free forms of mHtt not only represents an ideal target for antibodies, but one that needs to be addressed if meaningful and maximal clinical benefits are to be expected. This review explores the potential use of antibody-based therapies to treat HD, including the rationale for this approach as well as the pre-clinical data supporting it. The potential challenges that will need to be considered if such route is to be pursued clinically are also discussed.
Denis, H.L., David, L.S., and Cicchetti, F. Antibody-based therapies for Huntington’s disease: current status and future directions. 06621. 2019 Neurobiol Dis.
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