Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
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Reduced choroidal neovascularization by AAV-anti-VEGF shRNA delivery
Title of the conference
European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy British Society for Gene Therapy Collaborative Congress 2011
Brighton, United Kingdom, October 27-31, 2011
Human gene therapy
Publication type : Meeting Abstract
VEGF plays an essential role in ocular angiogenic diseases including the late-stage form of AMD, the primary cause of vision loss in the western world. Over-expression of VEGF leads to development of vasculature emanating from the choroid, invading the subretinal space through breaks in Bruch's membrane. Strategies leading to long-term suppression of inappropriate ocular angiogenesis are required. A panel of 10 shRNAs targeting the coding region of human VEGF165 was tested in HEK293 cells and in the human retinal pigment epithelial cell line, ARPE-19. VEGF knock-down up to 92% was achieved by co-transfecting shRNAexpressing constructs with plasmid encoding the Renilla luciferase gene fused to the VEGF165 sequence. For in vivo delivery of the most potent shRNA cassette, both single-stranded and self-complementary rAAV vectors were packaged in serotype 8 capsids. Intramuscular administration in mice led to localized expression and 96% knock-down of endogenous VEGF. Using eGFP as a marker, efficient gene transfer of retinal pigment epithelial cells, the cells thought to be responsible for the abnormal VEGF production, was obtained by subretinal delivery of rAAV2.8 vectors. The capacity of rAAV-encoded shRNAs to silence endogenous VEGF gene expression was evaluated in the laser-induced murine model of choroidal neovascularization (CNV). In this mouse model of AMD, sizes of the CNV were found to be significantly reduced following rAAV-shRNA subretinal delivery. Thus, our results indicate that gene transfer combining AAV-mediated delivery with triggering of the endogenous RNAi pathway can be used for anti-VEGF therapy and holds great promise for the treatment of AMD.
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