Gene editing halts vision loss in mice

Female scientist in the lab

Scientists from the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston have prevented the formation of new blood vessels on the retina of mice using a gene-editing technique. 

The abnormal growth of blood cells on the surface of the retina occurs in several degenerative eye conditions, including proliferative diabetic retinopathy and wet age-related macular degeneration.

As part of a study published in Nature Communications scientists targeted a specific protein that is known to play an essential role in angiogenesis.

A viral vector, a tool commonly used by molecular biologists to deliver genetic material into cells, was used to deliver the genomic edits to the protein.

Researchers found that a single injection of the gene therapy was able to prevent retinal angiogenesis in mice. 

“This work establishes a strong foundation for genome editing as a strategy to treat angiogenesis-associated diseases,” the authors concluded. 

Read the full study