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Recent success in clinical trials supports the use of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for gene therapy of retinal diseases caused by defects in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). In contrast, evidence of the efficacy of AAV-mediated gene transfer to retinal photoreceptors, the major site of inherited retinal diseases, is less robust. In addition,(More)
In the adult, a hypothalamic neural network acts to maintain energy balance in response to nutritional feedback from the periphery. Although there is an immediate requirement for this system to be functional at birth, it is unknown whether the components of this central neural network are expressed in the developing brain before birth. We therefore examined(More)
In the present study, our aim was to determine whether intrafetal glucose infusion increases fetal adiposity, synthesis and secretion of leptin and regulates gene expression of the 'appetite regulatory' neuropeptides neuropepetide Y (NPY), agouti-related peptide (AGRP), pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) and(More)
BACKGROUND Gene transfer using adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors has been successfully applied in the retina for the treatment of inherited retinal dystrophies. Recently, microRNAs have been exploited to fine-tune transgene expression improving therapeutic outcomes. Here we evaluated the ability of retinal-expressed microRNAs to restrict AAV-mediated(More)
PURPOSE To evaluate the suitability of gene delivery-based approaches as potential treatment of Leber congenital amaurosis 4 (LCA4) due to AIPL1 mutations. METHODS Genomic DNA from patients was analyzed using a microarray chip and direct sequencing. A detailed clinical evaluation including fundus autofluorescence (FAF) and optical coherence tomography(More)
Retinal gene therapy with adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors is safe and effective in humans. However, AAV's limited cargo capacity prevents its application to therapies of inherited retinal diseases due to mutations of genes over 5 kb, like Stargardt's disease (STGD) and Usher syndrome type IB (USH1B). Previous methods based on 'forced' packaging of(More)
Despite the recent success of gene-based complementation approaches for genetic recessive traits, the development of therapeutic strategies for gain-of-function mutations poses great challenges. General therapeutic principles to correct these genetic defects mostly rely on post-transcriptional gene regulation (RNA silencing). Engineered zinc-finger (ZF)(More)
We have investigated the factors regulating leptin synthesis, fat deposition, and circulating leptin concentrations in fetuses of well nourished ewes in late pregnancy. Vascular catheters were surgically inserted in 17 pregnant ewes and their fetuses at 103-120 d gestation (term = 147 +/- 3 d). Ewes were fed a diet providing either 100% (control; n = 9) or(More)
Gene transfer to both cone and rod photoreceptors (PRs) is essential for gene therapy of inherited retinal degenerations that are caused by mutations in genes expressed in both PR types. Vectors based on the adeno-associated virus (AAV) efficiently transduce PRs of different species. However, these are predominantly rods and little is known about the(More)
Oculo-cutaneous albinism type 1 (OCA1) is characterized by congenital hypopigmentation and is due to mutations in the TYROSINASE gene (TYR). In this study, we have characterized the morpho-functional consequences of the lack of tyrosinase activity in the spontaneous null mouse model of OCA1 (Tyr(c-2j)). Here, we show that adult Tyr(c-2j) mice have several(More)