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.