Gene Therapy Targets Inner Retina to Combat Blindness

Gene therapy to the inner retina prevented blindness in a mouse model of the neuro-degenerative disorder CLN3 Batten disease. Adeno-associated viral (AAV)-mediated expression of the human CLN3 gene led to significant survival of bipolar cells and pre-served retinal function, as reported in the peer-reviewed journal Human Gene Therapy. Click here to read the full-text article free on the Human Gene Therapy website through September 10, 2020.

Batten disease is a group of fatal, inherited lysosomal storage disorders that predominantly affect children. The most prevalent form is CLN3 disease, for which there is no cure. Retinal degeneration and resulting vision loss is one of the symptoms.

Robin Ali, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, and coauthors state that “Bipolar cell specific expression of human CLN3 rescues the retinal phenotype of Cln3-deficient mice.” They show that the Cln3-deficient mice suffer a decline in inner retinal function resulting from the death of rod bipolar cells

“In complex genetic diseases like Batten disease, the ultimate gene therapy solution may require parallel efforts between correction of the neurodevelopmental impairments and the vision loss,” according to Editor-in-Chief of Human Gene Therapy Terence R. Flotte, MD, Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and Dean, Provost, and Executive Deputy Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Medical School. “Thus, therapies aimed at correcting the retinal defect may prove to be very important in the care of these patients in the future.”

About the Journal

Human Gene Therapy, the Official Journal of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and eight other international gene therapy societies, was the first peer-reviewed journal in the field and provides all-inclusive access to the critical pillars of human gene therapy: research, methods, and clinical applications. The Journal is led by Editor-in-Chief Terence R. Flotte, MD, Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and Dean, Provost, and Executive Deputy Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and an esteemed international editorial board. Human Gene Therapy is available in print and online. Complete tables of contents and a sample issue are available on the Human Gene Therapy website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 90 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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