A Common Outer Retinal Change in Retinal Degeneration by Optical Coherence Tomography Can Be Used to Assess Outcomes of Gene Therapy
HUMAN GENE THERAPY
2019; 30 (12): 1520–30
Identifying early disease hallmarks in animal models with slow disease progression may expedite disease detection and assessment of treatment outcomes. Using optical coherence tomography, a widely applied noninvasive method for monitoring retinal structure changes, we analyzed retinal optical sections from six mouse lines with retinal degeneration caused by mutations in different disease-causing genes. While images from wild-type mice revealed four well-separated hyper-reflective bands in the outer retina (designated as outer retina reflective bands, ORRBs) at all ages, the second band (ORRB2) and the third band (ORRB3) were merged in retinas of five mutant mouse lines at early ages, suggesting the pathological nature of this alteration. This ORRB change appeared to be degenerating photoreceptor related, and occurred before obvious morphological changes that can be identified on both hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections and electron microscopic sections. Importantly, the merging of ORRB2 and ORRB3 was reversed by treatment with adeno-associated viral vector-mediated gene replacement therapies, and this restoration occurred much earlier than measurable functional or structural improvement. Our data suggest that the ORRB change could be a common hallmark of early retinal degeneration and its restoration could be used for rapid and noninvasive assessment of therapeutic effects following gene therapy or other treatment interventions.
View details for DOI 10.1089/hum.2019.162
View details for Web of Science ID 000500758500001
View details for PubMedID 31672061
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6919282