Gene therapy restores vision in a canine model of childhood blindness.

James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.
Nature Genetics (Impact Factor: 29.65). 06/2001; 28(1):92-5. DOI: 10.1038/88327
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The relationship between the neurosensory photoreceptors and the adjacent retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) controls not only normal retinal function, but also the pathogenesis of hereditary retinal degenerations. The molecular bases for both primary photoreceptor and RPE diseases that cause blindness have been identified. Gene therapy has been used successfully to slow degeneration in rodent models of primary photoreceptor diseases, but efficacy of gene therapy directed at photoreceptors and RPE in a large-animal model of human disease has not been reported. Here we study one of the most clinically severe retinal degenerations, Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). LCA causes near total blindness in infancy and can result from mutations in RPE65 (LCA, type II; MIM 180069 and 204100). A naturally occurring animal model, the RPE65-/- dog, suffers from early and severe visual impairment similar to that seen in human LCA. We used a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) carrying wild-type RPE65 (AAV-RPE65) to test the efficacy of gene therapy in this model. Our results indicate that visual function was restored in this large animal model of childhood blindness.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter gene, ABCA4 (ABCR), was characterized in 1997 as the causal gene for autosomal recessive Stargardt disease (STGD1). Shortly thereafter several other phenotypes were associated with mutations in ABCA4, which now have collectively emerged as the most frequent cause of retinal degeneration phenotypes of Mendelian inheritance. ABCA4 functions as an important transporter (or "flippase") of vitamin A derivatives in the visual cycle. Several ways to alleviate the effects of the defective ABCA4 protein, which cause accumulation of 11-cis and all-trans-retinal in photoreceptors and lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium, have been proposed. Although ABCA4 has proven to be a difficult research target, substantial progress through genetic, functional, and translational studies has allowed major advances in therapeutic applications for ABCA4-associated pathology, which should be available to patients in the (near) future. Here, we summarize the status of the gene therapy-based treatment options of ABCA4-associated diseases. Copyright © 2015 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.
    Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine 01/2015; DOI:10.1101/cshperspect.a017301 · 7.56 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Several groups have reported the results of clinical trials of gene augmentation therapy for Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) because of mutations in the RPE65 gene. These studies have used subretinal injection of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to deliver the human RPE65 cDNA to the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells of the treated eyes. In all of the studies reported to date, this approach has been shown to be both safe and effective. The successful clinical trials of gene augmentation therapy for retinal degeneration caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene sets the stage for broad application of gene therapy to treat retinal degenerative disorders. Copyright © 2015 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.
    Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine 01/2015; DOI:10.1101/cshperspect.a017285 · 7.56 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Gene therapy has a growing research potential particularly in the field of ophthalmic and retinal diseases owing to three main characteristics of the eye; accessibility in terms of injections and surgical interventions, its immune-privileged status facilitating the accommodation to the antigenicity of a viral vector, and tight blood-ocular barriers which save other organs from unwanted contamination. Gene therapy has tremendous potential for different ocular diseases. In fact, the perspective of gene therapy in the field of eye research does not confine to exclusive monogenic ophthalmic problems and it has the potential to include gene based pharmacotherapies for non-monogenic problems such as age related macular disease and diabetic retinopathy. The present article has focused on how gene transfer into the eye has been developed and used to treat retinal disorders with no available therapy at present.
    Journal of Ophthalmic & Vision Research 10/2014; 9(4):506. DOI:10.4103/2008-322X.150831

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 3, 2014