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Methods Mol Biol. 2011;807:179-218. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-370-7_8.

Adeno-associated virus mediated gene therapy for retinal degenerative diseases.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Gissen, Germany.


Retinal gene therapy holds great promise for the treatment of inherited and noninherited blinding diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. The most widely used vectors for ocular gene delivery are based on adeno-associated virus (AAV) because it mediates long-term transgene expression in a variety of retinal cell types and elicits minimal immune responses. Inherited retinal diseases are nonlethal and have a wide level of genetic heterogeneity. Many of the genes have now been identified and their function elucidated, providing a major step towards the development of gene-based treatments. Extensive preclinical evaluation of gene transfer strategies in small and large animal models is key to the development of successful gene-based therapies for the retina. These preclinical studies have already allowed the field to reach the point where gene therapy to treat inherited blindness has been brought to clinical trial.In this chapter, we focus on AAV-mediated specific gene therapy for inherited retinal degenerative diseases, describing the disease targets, the preclinical studies in animal models and the recent success of the LCA-RPE65 clinical trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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