Hydroxychloroquine enhances the endocrine secretion of adenovirus-directed growth hormone from rat submandibular glands in vivo

A. T.M.S. Hoque, L. Baccaglini, B. J. Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Use of gene transfer technology for treating single protein deficiency disorders requires delivery of therapeutic levels of the transgene product. We have suggested that salivary glands may provide a potentially valuable target site for certain systemic applications of gene therapeutics (He et al., Gene Ther. 1998;5:537-541). However, the ability of salivary glands to deliver therapeutic proteins to either the upper gastrointestinal tract via saliva or to the bloodstream, as required, must be carefully evaluated. In the anterior pituitary gland, human growth hormone (hGH) is secreted into the bloodstream via the regulated secretory pathway. However, when expressed from an adenoviral vector delivered to salivary glands, most hGH follows the regulated, tissue-specific, exocrine secretory pathway into saliva, where it is not therapeutically useful. We tested the hypothesis that the commonly used, FDA-approved drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) can divert adenovirus-directed hGH from this regulated secretory pathway in rat submandibular glands and enhance delivery into the bloodstream. In untreated rats, there was ∼20-fold more vector-directed hGH in saliva than in serum. Administration of HCQ led to a shift of hGH secretion into the bloodstream. When delivered at doses of 1 or 10 mg/kg body weight, via intraperitoneal injection plus intraductal infusion, the saliva:serum hGH ratio was ∼2:1. Such HCQ delivery did not significantly alter the total amount of hGH measured, but increased the serum level of hGH 5- to 6-fold. Also, HCQ had no significant effects on serum chemistries or hematological parameters. We conclude that HCQ is able to significantly enhance hGH secretion from salivary glands into the bloodstream and may be useful to facilitate clinical applications of gene therapeutics via salivary glands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1333-1341
Number of pages9
JournalHuman gene therapy
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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