Gene therapy gives long-term protection to photoreceptor cells in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa
- 15 July 2015
A collaboration between scientists in the UK and the USA has shown that gene therapy can give life-long protection to the light-sensitive photoreceptor cells responsible for colour vision in a mouse model of the most common inherited eye disorder.
Results published in the journal Molecular Therapy demonstrate that the preserved cells were able to drive visually-guided behaviour, even in later stages of the condition and despite becoming less sensitive to light.
These findings are significant because they open up a new line of research to prevent nerve cell death in retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. They may also have a wider application to neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).