Range of retinal diseases potentially treatable by AAV-vectored gene therapy.
ABSTRACT Viable strategies for retinal gene therapy must be designed to cope with the genetic nature of the disease and/or the primary pathologic process responsible for retinal malfunction. For dominant gene defects the aim must be to destroy the presumably toxic gene product, for recessive gene defects the direct approach aims to provide a wild-type copy of the gene to the affected retinal cell type, and for diseases of either complex or unknown genetic origin, more general cell survival strategies that deal with preserving affected retinal cells are often the best and only option. Hence examples of each type of therapy will be briefly discussed in several animal models, including ribozyme therapy for autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa in the transgenic P23H opsin rat, beta-PDE gene augmentation therapy for autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa in the rd mouse, glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) gene therapy for autosomal dominant RP in the transgenic S334ter opsin rat and pigment epithelial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (PEDF) gene therapy for neovascular retinal disease in rodents. Each employs a recombinant AAV vectored passenger gene controlled by one of several promoters supporting either photoreceptor-specific expression or more general retinal cell expression depending on the therapeutic requirements.
Article: Intraocular route of AAV2 vector administration defines humoral immune response and therapeutic potential.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Safety and efficiency are critical for successful gene therapy. Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors are commonly used for gene transfer in both human and animal studies. However, administration of AAV vectors can lead to development of neutralizing antibodies against the vector capsid, thus decreasing the efficiency of therapeutic gene transfer and preventing effective vector readministration. We investigated immune responses to different routes of ocular administration and readministration of AAV vectors, and the effect of previous exposure of AAV vector in one eye on the transduction efficacy of subsequent intraocular AAV-mediated gene delivery to the partner eye. We tested two vector systems. One contained a cDNA encoding a secreted pigment epithelial derived factor (PEDF) cDNA under the control of a Cytomegalovirus (CMV) enhancer and chicken beta-actin promoter (CBA; AAV2-CBA-PEDF) and was tested in a murine model of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV). The other vector contained a cDNA encoding the intracellular reporter green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of the same promoter (AAV2-CBA-GFP). Animals were divided into groups and received sequential injections at different combinations of either intravitreal or subretinal routes. CNV was evaluated by fluorescein angiographic choroidal flat-mount image analysis. The expression of GFP was analyzed in retinal sections by direct fluorescence imaging. Antibodies against AAV2 capsid and transgenes were analyzed by ELISA using serum samples collected before injection and different time points after the injection. Neutralizing antibodies were characterized by in vitro assays. Various ocular compartments responded to AAV administration differently. Intravitreal administration of AAV vectors, which resulted in transduction of inner retina (primarily retinal ganglion cells), generated a humoral immune response against AAV capsid that blocked vector expression upon readministration via the same route into the partner eye. In contrast, it had no effect on vector readministered into the subretinal space of the partner eye. Additionally, subretinal administration of vector did not trigger any humoral immune response against AAV capsid, and had no effect on subsequent administration of vector either intravitreally or subretinally into the partner eye. These findings have important clinical implications for the design of AAV-mediated ocular gene transfer for retinal diseases, particularly if both eyes require sequential treatment.Molecular vision 02/2008; 14:1760-9. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Inherited retinal degeneration results from many different mutations in either photoreceptor-specific or nonphotoreceptor-specific genes. However, nearly all mutations lead to a common blinding phenotype that initiates with rod cell death, followed by loss of cones. In most retinal degenerations, other retinal neuron cell types survive for long periods after blindness from photoreceptor loss. One strategy to restore light responsiveness to a retina rendered blind by photoreceptor degeneration is to express light-regulated ion channels or transporters in surviving retinal neurons. Recent experiments in rodents have restored light-sensitivity by expressing melanopsin or microbial opsins either broadly throughout the retina or selectively in the inner segments of surviving cones or in bipolar cells. Here, we present an approach whereby a genetically and chemically engineered light-gated ionotropic glutamate receptor (LiGluR) is expressed selectively in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the longest-surviving cells in retinal blinding diseases. When expressed in the RGCs of a well-established model of retinal degeneration, the rd1 mouse, LiGluR restores light sensitivity to the RGCs, reinstates light responsiveness to the primary visual cortex, and restores both the pupillary reflex and a natural light-avoidance behavior.Molecular Therapy 05/2011; 19(7):1212-9. · 6.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Despite evidence that hyperactivity of the vasodeleterious axis (ACE/angiotensin II (Ang II)/AT1 receptor) of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is associated with the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy (DR) use of the inhibitors of this axis has met with limited success in the control of this pathophysiology. We investigated the hypothesis that enhancing the local activity of the recently established protective axis of the RAS, ACE2/Ang-(1-7), using adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene delivery of ACE2 or Ang-(1-7) would confer protection against diabetes-induced retinopathy. Genes expressing ACE2 and Ang-(1-7) were cloned in AAV vector. The effects of ocular AAV-ACE2/Ang-(1-7) gene transfer on DR in diabetic eNOS(-/-) mice and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were examined. Diabetes was associated with approximately tenfold and greater than threefold increases in the ratios of ACE/ACE2 and AT1R/Mas mRNA levels in the retina respectively. Intraocular administration of AAV-ACE2/Ang-(1-7) resulted in significant reduction in diabetes-induced retinal vascular leakage, acellular capillaries, infiltrating inflammatory cells and oxidative damage in both diabetic mice and rats. Our results demonstrate that DR is associated with impaired balance of retinal RAS. Increased expression of ACE2/Ang-(1-7) overcomes this imbalance and confers protection against DR. Thus, strategies enhancing the protective ACE2/Ang-(1-7) axis of RAS in the eye could serve as a novel therapeutic target for DR.Molecular Therapy 07/2011; 20(1):28-36. · 6.87 Impact Factor