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Mol Ther. 2006 Jun;13(6):1074-84. Epub 2006 Apr 27.

Safety of recombinant adeno-associated virus type 2-RPE65 vector delivered by ocular subretinal injection.

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Scheie Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


AAV2 delivery of the RPE65 gene to the retina of blind RPE65-deficient animals restores vision. This strategy is being considered for human trials in RPE65-associated Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), but toxicity and dose efficacy have not been defined. We studied ocular delivery of AAV-2/2.RPE65 in RPE65-mutant dogs. There was no systemic toxicity. Ocular examinations showed mild or moderate inflammation that resolved over 3 months. Retinal histopathology indicated that traumatic lesions from the injection were common, but thinning within the injection region occurred only at the two highest vector doses. Biodistribution studies at 3 months postinjection showed no vector in optic nerve or visual centers in the brain and only isolated non-dose-related detection in other organs. We also performed biodistribution studies in normal rats at about 2 weeks and 2 months postinjection and vector was not widespread outside the injected eye. Dose-response results in RPE65-mutant dogs indicated that the highest 1.5-log unit range of vector doses proved efficacious. The efficacy and toxicity limits defined in this study lead to suggestions for the design of a subretinal AAV-2/2.RPE65 human trial of RPE65-associated LCA.

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