We report on the long-term safety of AAV2.sFlt-1 (a recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 2 carrying the soluble form of the Flt-1 receptor) injection into the subretinal space of non-human primates. Levels of sFlt-1 protein were significantly higher (P0.05) in the vitreous of four out of five AAV2.sFlt-1-injected eyes. There was no evidence of damage to the eyes of animals that received subretinal injections of AAV2.sFlt-1; ocular examination showed no anterior chamber flare, normal fundus and electroretinography responses equivalent to those observed before treatment. Notably, immunological analysis demonstrated that gene therapy involving subretinal injection of AAV2.sFlt-1 does not elicit cell-mediated immunity. Biodistribution analysis showed that AAV2.sFlt-1 could be detected only in the eye and not in the other organs tested. These data indicate that gene therapy with subretinal AAV2.sFlt-1 is safe and well tolerated, and therefore promising for the long-term treatment of neovascular diseases of the eye.
- Retinal diseases