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Xinye Qian, Hehe Liu, Shangyi Fu, Jiaxiong Lu, Yu-Ting Hung, Cassidy Turner, Haiwei Gu, Rui Chen; AAV8-Mediated Gene Therapy Rescues Retinal Degeneration Phenotype in a Tlcd3b Knockout Mouse Model. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(3):11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.63.3.11.
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The purpose of this study was to assess the therapeutic efficacy of rAAV8-hGRK1-Tlcd3b in a Tlcd3b−/− mouse model of retinal generation and validate TLCD3B's role as a ceramide synthase in vivo.
Using Tlcd3b−/− mice as an inherited retinal disease animal model, we performed subretinal injection of rAAV8-hGRK1-Tlcd3b and evaluated the efficacy of gene replacement therapy. Tlcd3b−/− mice were treated at two time points: postnatal day 21 (P21) and postnatal day 120 (P120) with various dosages.
Tlcd3b overexpression rescued retinal degeneration in the mutant mice, as indicated by significantly improved photoreceptor function and preservation of photoreceptor cells over the course of 1 year. Although Tlcd3b is expressed in all cell types in the retina, photoreceptor cell-specific expression of Tlcd3b is sufficient to rescue the phenotype, indicating the primary function of TLCD3B is in photoreceptors. Consistent with the idea that TLCD3B is a ceramide synthase, mass spectrometry analyses of the mutant retina indicate the reduction of C16-, C18-, and C20-ceramides in the retina, which are restored with Tlcd3b overexpression.
Our findings demonstrated the therapeutic efficacy of gene therapy in treating Tlcd3b mutant retina, laying the foundation for developing future therapy for TLCD3B retinopathy.
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