In utero gene therapy rescues vision in a murine model of congenital blindness.

Dejneka NS, Surace EM, Aleman TS, Cideciyan AV, Lyubarsky A, Savchenko A, Redmond TM, Tang W, Wei Z, Rex TS, Glover E, Maguire AM, Pugh EN, Jacobson SG, Bennett J
Mol Ther. 2004 9 (2): 182-8

PMID: 14759802 · DOI:10.1016/j.ymthe.2003.11.013

The congenital retinal blindness known as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) can be caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene. RPE65 plays a critical role in the visual cycle that produces the photosensitive pigment rhodopsin. Recent evidence from human studies of LCA indicates that earlier rather than later intervention may be more likely to restore vision. We determined the impact of in utero delivery of the human RPE65 cDNA to retinal pigment epithelium cells in a murine model of LCA, the Rpe65(-/-) mouse, using a serotype 2 adeno-associated virus packaged within an AAV1 capsid (AAV2/1). Delivery of AAV2/1-CMV-hRPE65 to fetuses (embryonic day 14) resulted in efficient transduction of retinal pigment epithelium, restoration of visual function, and measurable rhodopsin. The results demonstrate AAV-mediated correction of the deficit and suggest that in utero retinal gene delivery may be a useful approach for treating a variety of blinding congenital retinal diseases.

MeSH Terms (18)

Animals Blindness Carrier Proteins cis-trans-Isomerases Dependovirus Disease Models, Animal Electroretinography Embryo, Mammalian Eye Proteins Female Genetic Therapy Genetic Vectors Mice Mice, Knockout Proteins Retina Uterus Vision, Ocular

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