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H. Tomita, E. Sugano, H. Isago, T. Hiroi, H. Yawo, M. Tamai; Properties of Recovered Visual Function in the Channelrhodopsin-2 Transferred Royal College of Surgeons Rats. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):981.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To test the hypothesis that a transduction of the channelrhodopsin-2 gene, a microbial-type rhodopsin gene, into retinal ganglion cells of genetically blind rats will restore functional vision.
We made an adeno-associated virus vector type 2 including the channelrhodopsin-2 gene fused to a fluorescent protein, Venus (AAV2-ChR2V). The AAV-ChR2V was injected intravitreally into the eyes of 6-month-old RCS (rdy/rdy) rats. Visual function was evaluated periodically by recording visually evoked potentials (VEPs) with various stimulus patterns and optomotor responses. The expression of ChR2V in the retina was investigated histologically.
VEPs could not be recorded from 6-month-old untreated RCS rats. In contrast, VEPs were markedly elicited from RCS rats injected with AAV-ChR2V at 6 weeks post-injection. The VEPs of RCS rats injected with AAV-ChR2V were first detected at 2 weeks after the injection. Thereafter, the amplitude progressively increased up to 6 weeks post-injection. The RCS rats with ChR2V and non dystrophic rats did not respond to 40 Hz and 50 Hz stimuli frequencies. However, VEPs were detected with stimuli <20 Hz of light simulation in both types of rats. The optomotor responses were significantly stronger after the AAV2-ChR2V injection. The expression of ChR2V was observed mainly in the retinal ganglion cells.
These findings demonstrate that blind rats can regain their visual function by the transduction of the ChR2V gene into the retinal ganglion cells.
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