Ji-Jing Pang

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States

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Publications (30)119.1 Total impact

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    Hua Zhang · Xufeng Dai · Yan Qi · Ying He · Wei Du · Ji-jing Pang
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    ABSTRACT: Retinal degenerative diseases are one of the important refractory ophthalmic diseases, featured with apoptosis of photoreceptor cells. Histone acetylation and deacetylation can regulate chromosome assembly, gene transcription, and posttranslational modification, which are regulated by histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs), respectively. The histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) have the ability to cause hyperacetylation of histone and nonhistone proteins, resulting in a variety of effects on cell proliferation, differentiation, anti-inflammation, and anti-apoptosis. Several HDACis have been approved for clinical trials to treat cancer. Studies have shown that HDACis have neuroprotective effects in nervous system damage. In this paper, we will summarize the neuroprotective effects of common HDACis in retinal degenerative diseases and make a prospect to the applications of HDACis in the treatment of retinal degenerative diseases in the future.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Ophthalmology
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    Xufeng Dai · Hua Zhang · Ying He · Yan Qi · Bo Chang · Ji-Jing Pang
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    ABSTRACT: Early studies on Rpe65 knockout mice reported that remaining visual function was attributable to cone function. However, this finding has been challenged more and more as time has passed. Electroretinograms (ERGs) showed that rd12 mice, a spontaneous animal model of RPE65 Leber's congenital amaurosis, had sizeable photopic responses. Unfortunately, the recorded ERG waveform was difficult to interpret because of a remarkably delayed peak-time, which resembles a rod response more than a cone response. Here, we compare flicker ERGs in animals with normal rod and cone function (C57BL/6J mice), pure rod function (cpfl5 mice), and pure cone function (Rho-/- mice) under different adaptation levels and stimulus intensities. These responses were then compared with those obtained from rd12 mice. Our results showed that normal rods respond to low frequency flicker (5 and 15 Hz) and that normal cones respond to both low and high frequency flicker (5-35 Hz). As was seen in cpfl5 mice, rd12 mice had recordable responses to low frequency flicker (5 and 15Hz), but not to high frequency flicker (25 and 35 Hz). We hypothesize that abnormal rods may be the source of residual vision in rd12 mice, which is proved correct here with double mutant rd12mice. In this study, we show, for the first time, that frequency-response ERGs can effectively distinguish cone- and rod-driven responses in the rd12 mouse. It is another simple and valid method for evaluating the respective contributions of retinal rods and cones.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The retinal degeneration 11 (rd11) mouse is a newly discovered, naturally occurring animal model with early photoreceptor dysfunction and rapid rod photoreceptor degeneration followed by cone degeneration. The rd11 mice carry a spontaneous mutation in the lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 1 (Lpcat1) gene. Here, we evaluate whether gene replacement therapy using the fast-acting tyrosine-capsid mutant AAV8 (Y733F) can arrest retinal degeneration and restore retinal function in this model. Methods: The AAV8 (Y733F)-smCBA-Lpcat1 was delivered subretinally to postnatal day 14 (P14) rd11 mice in one eye only. At 10 weeks after injection, treated rd11 mice were examined by visually-guided behavior, electroretinography (ERG) and spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), and then killed for morphologic and biochemical examination. Results: Substantial scotopic and photopic ERG signals were maintained in treated rd11 eyes, whereas untreated eyes in the same animals showed extinguished signals. The SD-OCT (in vivo) and light microscopy (in vitro) showed a substantial preservation of the outer nuclear layer in most parts of the treated retina only. Almost wild-type LPCAT1 expression in photoreceptors with strong rod rhodopsin and M/S cone opsin staining, and normal visually-guided water maze behavioral performances were observed in treated rd11 mice. Conclusions: The results demonstrate that the tyrosine-capsid mutant AAV8 (Y733F) vector is effective for treating rapidly degenerating models of retinal degeneration and, moreover, is more therapeutically effective than AAV2 (Y444, 500, 730F) vector with the same promoter-cDNA payload. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of phenotypic rescue by gene therapy in an animal model of retinal degeneration caused by Lpcat1 mutation.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
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    ABSTRACT: [This corrects the article on p. e35250 in vol. 7.].
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Proof of concept for MERTK gene replacement therapy has been demonstrated using different viral vectors in the Royal College of Surgeon (RCS) rat, a well characterized model of recessive retinitis pigmentosa that contains a mutation in the Mertk gene. MERTK plays a key role in renewal of photoreceptor outer segments (OS) by phagocytosis of shed OS tips. Mutations in MERTK cause impaired phagocytic activity and accumulation of OS debris in the interphotoreceptor space that ultimately leads to photoreceptor cell death. In the present study, we conducted a series of preclinical potency and GLP-compliant safety evaluations of an adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) vector expressing human MERTK cDNA driven by the retinal pigment epithelium-specific, VMD2 promoter. We demonstrate the potency of the vector in RCS rats by improved electroretinogram (ERG) responses in treated eyes compared with contralateral untreated controls. Toxicology and biodistribution studies were performed in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats injected with two different doses of AAV vectors and buffer control. Delivery of vector in SD rats did not result in a change in ERG amplitudes of rod and cone responses relative to balanced salt solution control-injected eyes, indicating that administration of AAV vector did not adversely affect normal retinal function. In vivo fundoscopic analysis and postmortem retinal morphology of the vector-injected eyes were normal compared with controls. Evaluation of blood smears showed the lack of transformed cells in the treated eyes. All injected eyes and day 1 blood samples were positive for vector genomes, and all peripheral tissues were negative. Our results demonstrate the potency and safety of the AAV2-VMD2-hMERTK vector in animal models tested. A GMP vector has been manufactured and is presently in clinical trial.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Human gene therapy. Clinical development
  • Ye Tao · Tao Chen · Bei Liu · Jun Hui Xue · Lei Zhang · Feng Xia · Ji-Jing Pang · Zuo Ming Zhang
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: To elucidate the underlying pathologic mechanism of congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB) by examining the characteristics of electrical signal transmission within the inner retinal circuit after Cacna1f gene mutation. Methods: Retinas isolated from the spontaneous Cacna1f mutant rats or wild-type rats were placed into a recording chamber, with the ganglion cell layer facing the biochip electrode array. The light-driven responses of the retinal ganglion cells (RCGs) were recorded using a multielectrode array (MEA) system. In the electrical stimulus cases, charge-balanced biphasic current pulse trains were generated and applied to the central electrode of MEA to stimulate the RCGs. Chemical compounds were bath-applied through an active perfusion system. The acquired data were further analyzed off-line. Results: Typical electrical responses were successfully recorded in the retinas of both wild-type rats and Cacna1f gene mutated rats. In the Cacna1f mutant retinas, the amplitude of the light-induced a-wave was decreased, paralleling the vanished b-wave. The responsive a-wave was not blocked by the application of 100 μM 2-amino-4-phosphobutyric acid. The increased spontaneous firing rate and the decreased robustness of light-driven signaling reflected a loss in the ability of ganglion cells to encode visual signals reliably and economically. Moreover, the ON pathway is somehow disconnected from ganglion cells, whereas OFF pathways may be preferentially selected by the CSNB retinas. In the electrical stimulus cases, the long-latency responses of RGCs evoked by the indirect synaptic inputs from outer layers of retina were weaker in the CSNB rats compared with that of SD rats. Conclusions: Using MEA recording, we provide evidences of functional changes for visual signal pathway plasticity in the Cacna1f mutated retinas. Our results suggest that the dysfunctions in photoreceptor neurotransmitter release and the loss of signaling efficiency both occur during CSNB, and the latter is possibly reversible.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
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    ABSTRACT: Achromatopsia is a rare autosomal recessive disorder which shows color blindness, severely impaired visual acuity, and extreme sensitivity to bright light. Mutations in the alpha subunits of the cone cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGA3) are responsible for about 1/4 of achromatopsia in the U.S. and Europe. Here, we test whether gene replacement therapy using an AAV5 vector could restore cone-mediated function and arrest cone degeneration in the cpfl5 mouse, a naturally occurring mouse model of achromatopsia with a CNGA3 mutation. We show that gene therapy leads to significant rescue of cone-mediated ERGs, normal visual acuities and contrast sensitivities. Normal expression and outer segment localization of both M- and S-opsins were maintained in treated retinas. The therapeutic effect of treatment lasted for at least 5 months post-injection. This study is the first demonstration of substantial, relatively long-term restoration of cone-mediated light responsiveness and visual behavior in a naturally occurring mouse model of CNGA3 achromatopsia. The results provide the foundation for development of an AAV5-based gene therapy trial for human CNGA3 achromatopsia.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the safety and efficacy of subretinal gene therapy in the RPE65 form of Leber congenital amaurosis using recombinant adeno-associated virus 2 (rAAV2) carrying the RPE65 gene. Open-label, dose-escalation phase I study of 15 patients (range, 11-30 years of age) evaluated after subretinal injection of the rAAV2- RPE65 vector into the worse-functioning eye. Five cohorts represented 4 dose levels and 2 different injection strategies. Primary outcomes were systemic and ocular safety. Secondary outcomes assayed visual function with dark-adapted full-field sensitivity testing and visual acuity with Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study charts. Further assays included immune responses to the vector, static visual fields, pupillometry, mobility performance, and optical coherence tomography. No systemic toxicity was detected; ocular adverse events were related to surgery. Visual function improved in all patients to different degrees; improvements were localized to treated areas. Cone and rod sensitivities increased significantly in the study eyes but not in the control eyes. Minor acuity improvements were recorded in many study and control eyes. Major acuity improvements occurred in study eyes with the lowest entry acuities and parafoveal fixation loci treated with subretinal injections. Other patients with better foveal structure lost retinal thickness and acuity after subfoveal injections. Gene therapy for Leber congenital amaurosis caused by RPE65 mutations is sufficiently safe and substantially efficacious in the extrafoveal retina. There is no benefit and some risk in treating the fovea. No evidence of age-dependent effects was found. Our results point to specific treatment strategies for subsequent phases. Gene therapy for inherited retinal disease has the potential to become a future part of clinical practice. clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00481546.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Archives of ophthalmology
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    ABSTRACT: To test the effects of adeno-associated virus encoding sFLT01 (AAV5.sFLT01) on the retinal lesions in Ccl2(-/-)/Cx3cr1(-/-) mice, a model for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), AAV5.sFLT01 was injected into the subretinal space of the right eyes and the left eyes served as controls. Histology found no retinal toxicity due to the treatment after 3 months. The treated eyes showed lesion arrest compared with lesion progression in the left eyes by fundus monitoring monthly and histological evaluation 3 months after treatment. Retinal ultrastructure showed fewer lipofuscin and better preserved photoreceptors after the treatment. A2E, a major component of lipofuscin, was lower in the treated eyes than in the control eyes. Molecular analysis showed that AAV5.sFLT01 lowered retinal extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation and inducible nitric oxide synthetase expression, which suggested the involvement of reactive nitrogen species in the retinal lesions of Ccl2(-/-)/Cx3cr1(-/-). We concluded that local delivery of AAV5.sFLT01 can stabilize retinal lesions in Ccl2(-/-)/Cx3cr1(-/-) mice. The findings provide further support for the potential beneficial effects of sFLT01 gene therapy for age-related macular degeneration.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Neurobiology of aging
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    ABSTRACT: The retinal degeneration 10 (rd10) mouse is a well-characterized model of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (RP), which carries a spontaneous mutation in the β subunit of rod cGMP-phosphodiesterase (PDEβ). Rd10 mouse exhibits photoreceptor dysfunction and rapid rod photoreceptor degeneration followed by cone degeneration and remodeling of the inner retina. Here, we evaluate whether gene replacement using the fast-acting tyrosine-capsid mutant AAV8 (Y733F) can provide long-term therapy in this model. AAV8 (Y733F)-smCBA-PDEβ was subretinally delivered to postnatal day 14 (P14) rd10 mice in one eye only. Six months after injection, spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), electroretinogram (ERG), optomotor behavior tests, and immunohistochemistry showed that AAV8 (Y733F)-mediated PDEβ expression restored retinal function and visual behavior and preserved retinal structure in treated rd10 eyes for at least 6 months. This is the first demonstration of long-term phenotypic rescue by gene therapy in an animal model of PDEβ-RP. It is also the first example of tyrosine-capsid mutant AAV8 (Y733F)-mediated correction of a retinal phenotype. These results lay the groundwork for the development of PDEβ-RP gene therapy trial and suggest that tyrosine-capsid mutant AAV vectors may be effective for treating other rapidly degenerating models of retinal degeneration.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Molecular Therapy
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    ABSTRACT: RPE65 function is necessary in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) to generate chromophore for all opsins. Its absence results in vision loss and rapid cone degeneration. Recent Leber congenital amaurosis type 2 (LCA with RPE65 mutations) phase I clinical trials demonstrated restoration of vision on RPE65 gene transfer into RPE cells overlying cones. In the rd12 mouse, a naturally occurring model of RPE65-LCA early cone degeneration was observed; however, some peripheral M-cones remained. A prior study showed that AAV-mediated RPE65 expression can prevent early cone degeneration. The present study was conducted to test whether the remaining cones in older rd12 mice can be rescued. Subretinal treatment with the scAAV5-smCBA-hRPE65 vector was initiated at postnatal day (P)14 and P90. After 2 months, electroretinograms were recorded, and cone morphology was analyzed by using cone-specific peanut agglutinin and cone opsin-specific antibodies. Cone degeneration started centrally and spread ventrally, with cells losing cone-opsin staining before that for the PNA-lectin-positive cone sheath. Gene therapy starting at P14 resulted in almost wild-type M- and S-cone function and morphology. Delaying gene-replacement rescued the remaining M-cones, and most important, more M-cone opsin-positive cells were identified than were present at the onset of gene therapy, suggesting that opsin expression could be reinitiated in cells with cone sheaths. The results support and extend those of the previous study that gene therapy can stop early cone degeneration, and, more important, they provide proof that delayed treatment can restore the function and morphology of the remaining cones. These results have important implications for the ongoing LCA2 clinical trials.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
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    ABSTRACT: Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is an early onset retinal dystrophy that causes severe visual impairment. With the development of molecular genetics and the therapeutic gene replacement technology, the adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector-mediated gene therapy for LCA achieved encouraging progress in the past decade. The success of the Phase I clinical trials of human RPE65 gene therapy for LCA II patients makes it a pioneer in the field of retinal gene therapy and brings light to the cure of other hereditary retinopathy. This article briefly reviews the recent developments in the preclinical animal experiments and Phase I clinical trials for LCA.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2011 · [Zhonghua yan ke za zhi] Chinese journal of ophthalmology
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    ABSTRACT: Vectors based on adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (AAV2) have been used extensively in many gene-delivery applications, including several successful clinical trials for one type of Leber congenital amaurosis in the retina. Many studies have focused on improving AAV2 transduction efficiency and cellular specificity by genetically engineering its capsid. We have previously shown that vectors-containing single-point mutations of capsid surface tyrosines in serotypes AAV2, AAV8, and AAV9 displayed significantly increased transduction efficiency in the retina compared with their wild-type counterparts. In the present study, we evaluated the transduction characteristics of AAV2 vectors containing combinations of multiple tyrosine to phenylalanine mutations in seven highly conserved surface-exposed capsid tyrosine residues following subretinal or intravitreal delivery in adult mice. The multiply mutated vectors exhibited different in vivo transduction properties, with some having a unique ability of transgene expression in all retinal layers. Such novel vectors may be useful in developing valuable new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of many genetic diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Molecular Therapy
  • Wen-sheng Li · Qin-xiang Zheng · Hao Chen · Ji-jing Pang
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    ABSTRACT: Hereditary retinal diseases (HRD) are a group of both common and severe ocular hereditary diseases. HRD are a major cause of blindness. Human genetic resources in China are plentiful. Through the accomplishment of the human genome project and the widespread application of related genetic techniques, the methods for detecting the mutant genes of HRD has been established, and important findings in the treatment of HRD through gene therapy studies have been obtained. In the past ten years, HRD studies in China have gained significant progress in this field, including several pioneer results in the detection of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa mutant gene. However, significant difference still exists in basic and clinical studies of HRD between the western countries and China. At present, HRD are transforming from "the incurable disease" to "the curable disease". Advancements in gene therapy studies are making the treatment of HRD possible, we should take advantage of these technological innovations to launch our own clinical trials using gene therapy in the treatment of HRD in Chinese patients as soon as possible.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2010 · [Zhonghua yan ke za zhi] Chinese journal of ophthalmology
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    ABSTRACT: Hereditary retinal diseases (HRDs), including retinitis pigmentosa, Leber's congenital amaurosis, congenital stationary night blindness, vitelliform macular dystrophy, Stargardt macular dystrophy, etc., are the most common and severe hereditary ocular diseases, which are closely associated with blindness. With the accomplishment of human genome project and the widespread application of genetic study techniques, the way leading to understanding of gene mutations of HRDs has been paved. Many encouraging breakthroughs of gene therapy studies have been made. Among them, the arrayed primer extension chip (Apex) technology greatly improved the efficiency of mutant gene screening of HRDs. Till now, 46 pathogenic genes and 2497 mutation loci have been identified to be related to HRDs. Gene therapy is one of the key treatments for HRDs. The disease causing mutant gene must be detected before the application of gene therapy. This paper reviews the latest progress in the study of gene mutations in HRDs.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2010 · [Zhonghua yan ke za zhi] Chinese journal of ophthalmology
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    ABSTRACT: To clarify whether transduction efficiency and cell type specificity of self-complementary (sc) AAV5 vectors are similar to those of standard, single-stranded AAV5 vectors in normal retina, one micro liter of scAAV5-smCBA-GFP vector (1 x 10(12) genome-containing particles/ml) and AAV5-smCBA-GFP vector (1 x 10(12) genome-containing particles/ml) were subretinally or intravitreally (in both cases through the cornea) injected into the right and left eyes of adult C57BL/6J mice, respectively. On post-injection day (PID) 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 14, 21, 28 and 35, eyes were enucleated; retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) wholemounts, neuroretinal wholemounts and eyecup sections were prepared to evaluate green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression by fluorescent microscopy. GFP expression following trans-cornea subretinal injection of scAAV5-smCBA-GFP vector was first detected in RPE wholemounts around PID 1 and in neuroretinal wholemounts between PID 2 and 5; GFP expression peaked and stabilized between PID 10-14 in RPE wholemounts and between P14 and P21 in neuroretinal wholemounts with strong, homogeneous green fluorescence covering the entire wholemounts. The frozen sections supported the following findings from the wholemounts: GFP expression appeared first in RPE around PID 1-2 and soon spread to photoreceptors (PR) cells; by PID 7, moderate GFP expression was found mainly in PR and RPE layers; between PID 14 and 21, strong and homogenous GFP expression was observed in RPE and PR cells. GFP expression following subretinal injection of AAV5-smCBA-GFP was first detected in RPE wholemounts around PID 5-7 and in neuroretinal wholemounts around PID 7-10; ssAAV5-mediated GFP expression peaked at PID 21 in RPE wholemounts and around PID 28 in neuroretinal wholemounts; sections from AAV5 treated eyes also supported findings obtained from wholemounts: GFP expression was first detected in RPE and then spread to the PR cells. Peak GFP expression in RPE mediated by scAAV5 was similar to that mediated by AAV5. However, peak GFP expression mediated by scAAV5 in PR cells was stronger than that mediated by AAV5. No GFP fluorescence was detected in any retinal cells (RPE wholemounts, neuroretinal wholemounts and retinal sections) after trans-cornea intravitreal delivery of either scAAV5-GFP or AAV5-GFP. Neither scAAV5 nor AAV5 can transduce retinal cells following trans-cornea intravitreal injection. The scAAV5 vector used in this study directs an earlier onset of transgene expression than the matched AAV5 vector, and has stronger transgene expression in PR cells following subretinal injection. Our data confirm the previous reports that scAAV vectors have an earlier onset than the standard, single strand AAV vectors (Natkunarajah et al., 2008; Yokoi et al., 2007). scAAV5 vectors may be more useful than standard, single-stranded AAV vector when addressing certain RPE and/or PR cell-related models of retinal dystrophy, particularly for mouse models of human retinitis pigmentosa that require rapid and robust transgene expression to prevent early degeneration in PR cells.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · Experimental Eye Research
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    ABSTRACT: Achromatopsia is an autosomal recessive retinal disease involving loss of cone function that afflicts approximately 1 in 30,000 individuals. Patients with achromatopsia usually have visual acuities lower than 20/200 because of the central vision loss, photophobia, complete color blindness and reduced cone-mediated electroretinographic (ERG) amplitudes. Mutations in three genes have been found to be the primary causes of achromatopsia, including CNGB3 (beta subunit of the cone cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channel), CNGA3 (alpha subunit of the cone cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channel), and GNAT2 (cone specific alpha subunit of transducin). Naturally occurring mouse models with mutations in Cnga3 (cpfl5 mice) and Gnat2 (cpfl3 mice) were discovered at The Jackson Laboratory. A natural occurring canine model with CNGB3 mutations has also been found. These animal models have many of the central phenotypic features of the corresponding human diseases. Using adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene therapy, we and others show that cone function can be restored in all three models. These data suggest that human achromatopsia may be a good candidate for corrective gene therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010 · Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Modulators of angiogenesis typically work in an orchestrated manner. The authors examined the interaction between insulinlike growth factor (IGF)-1, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and stromal derived factor (SDF)-1 in vivo and in vitro using angiogenesis models. The angiogenic effect of SDF-1, alone or in combination with IGF-1 and VEGF, was assessed in human lung microvascular endothelial cells using capillary tube formation and thymidine incorporation. Immunohistochemical analysis for CD31, SDF-1, and CXCR4 was performed on mouse eyes 2 weeks after the initiation of laser rupture of Bruch's membrane, a choroidal neovascularization (CNV) model. CXCR4 antagonist and CXCR4 blocking antibody were tested on inhibition of CNV lesion size in this model. Real-time PCR was used to determine mRNA levels for SDF-1, VEGF, IGF-1, and their cognate receptors in the retinal pigment epithelium/choroid complex of mice that underwent this CNV model. IGF-1 and VEGF demonstrated an additive effect on SDF-1-induced in vitro angiogenesis. CXCR4 immunoreactivity was present in both normal and laser-injured mice at the laser burn site and at the ganglion cell layer, the anterior portion of the inner nuclear layer, photoreceptors, and choroidal stroma. SDF-1 was observed in identical locations but was not seen in photoreceptors. mRNA levels for SDF-1, VEGF, and IGF-1 and their receptors were increased after laser injury. CXCR4-neutralizing antibody reduced neovascularization when injected subretinally but not intraperitoneally or intravitreally. The potent proangiogenic factors IGF-1 and VEGF both stimulate SDF-1-induced angiogenesis. Local inhibition of CXCR4 is required for an antiangiogenic effect in CNV lesions.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
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    ABSTRACT: Human gene therapy with rAAV2-vector was performed for the RPE65 form of childhood blindness called Leber congenital amaurosis. In three contemporaneous studies by independent groups, the procedure was deemed safe and there was evidence of visual gain in the short term. At 12 months after treatment, our young adult subjects remained healthy and without vector-related serious adverse events. Results of immunological assays to identify reaction to AAV serotype 2 capsid were unchanged from baseline measurements. Results of clinical eye examinations of study and control eyes, including visual acuities and central retinal structure by in vivo microscopy, were not different from those at the 3-month time point. The remarkable improvements in visual sensitivity we reported by 3 months were unchanged at 12 months. The retinal extent and magnitude of rod and cone components of the visual sensitivity between 3 and 12 months were also the same. The safety and efficacy of human retinal gene transfer with rAAV2-RPE65 vector extends to at least 1 year posttreatment.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2009 · Human gene therapy
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    ABSTRACT: Vectors derived from adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) have become important gene delivery tools for the treatment of many inherited ocular diseases in well-characterized animal models. Previous studies have determined that the viral capsid plays an essential role in the cellular tropism and efficiency of transgene expression. Recently, it was shown that phosphorylation of surface-exposed tyrosine residues from AAV2 capsid targets the viral particles for ubiquitination and proteasome- mediated degradation, and mutations of these tyrosine residues lead to highly efficient vector transduction in vitro and in vivo. Because the tyrosine residues are highly conserved in other AAV serotypes, in this study we evaluated the intraocular transduction characteristics of vectors containing point mutations in surface- exposed capsid tyrosine residues in AAV serotypes 2, 8, and 9. Several of these novel AAV mutants were found to display a strong and widespread transgene expression in many retinal cells after subretinal or intravitreal delivery compared with their wild-type counterparts. For the first time, we show efficient transduction of the ganglion cell layer by AAV serotype 8 or 9 mutant vectors, thus providing additional tools besides AAV2 for targeting these cells. These enhanced AAV vectors have a great potential for future therapeutic applications for retinal degenerations and ocular neovascular diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Molecular Therapy

Publication Stats

2k Citations
119.10 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005-2015
    • University of Florida
      • • Department of Ophthalmology
      • • College of Medicine
      Gainesville, Florida, United States
  • 2010-2012
    • Wenzhou Medical College
      • Eye Hospital
      Yung-chia, Zhejiang Sheng, China
  • 2007
    • Columbia University
      • Department of Ophthalmology
      New York City, New York, United States