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Microbiology - Ophthalmology


Corneal Transduction by Intra-Stromal Injection of AAV Vectors In Vivo in the Mouse and Ex Vivo in Human Explants
Published: Monday, April 16, 2012
Author: Claire Hippert et al.

by Claire Hippert, Sandy Ibanes, Nicolas Serratrice, Franck Court, Fran├žois Malecaze, Eric J. Kremer, Vasiliki Kalatzis

The cornea is a transparent, avascular tissue that acts as the major refractive surface of the eye. Corneal transparency, assured by the inner stroma, is vital for this role. Disruption in stromal transparency can occur in some inherited or acquired diseases. As a consequence, light entering the eye is blocked or distorted, leading to decreased visual acuity. Possible treatment for restoring transparency could be via viral-based gene therapy. The stroma is particularly amenable to this strategy due to its immunoprivileged nature and low turnover rate. We assayed the potential of AAV vectors to transduce keratocytes following intra-stromal injection in vivo in the mouse cornea and ex vivo in human explants. In murine and human corneas, we transduced the entire stroma using a single injection, preferentially targeted keratocytes and achieved long-term gene transfer (up to 17 months in vivo in mice). Of the serotypes tested, AAV2/8 was the most promising for gene transfer in both mouse and man. Furthermore, transgene expression could be transiently increased following aggression to the cornea.
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