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Suhwan Lee, Im Kyeung Kang, Ji Hyun Kim, Bok Kyoung Jung, Keerang Park, Heesoon Chang, Joo Yong Lee, Heuiran Lee; Relationship Between Neutralizing Antibodies Against Adeno-Associated Virus in the Vitreous and Serum: Effects on Retinal Gene Therapy. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2019;8(2):14. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.2.14.
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We determine the prevalence of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) to adeno-associated virus (AAV) in the vitreous humor and serum of patients with vitreoretinal diseases and investigate the relationship between NAb titers in the vitreous humor and serum.
We analyzed NAbs to AAV serotypes 2, 5, 8, and 9 via in vitro neutralization in the vitreous humor and serum from 32 patients requiring vitrectomy for vitreoretinal diseases. The blood–retinal barrier (BRB) was evaluated for integrity based on preoperative examinations, with vitreous hemorrhage (VH) on funduscopy or dye leakage on fluorescein angiography observed indicating disruption.
NAb levels were much lower in the vitreous humor than in the serum regardless of serotype. Patients with VH had higher levels of NAbs in the vitreous humor than those without VH. The NAb ratio (ratio between NAb titers in the serum and vitreous humor) was much lower in patients with epiretinal membrane with than in those without leakage. A significantly lower NAb ratio was noticed in patients with than in those without BRB disruptions.
The NAb ratio between levels in serum and vitreous humor varies according to the condition of the BRB. Therefore, in addition to measuring the serum NAb level, physicians should examine BRB integrity when planning retinal gene therapy.
This study provides substantial basis for retinal gene therapy using AAVs and how maintenance of BRB integrity in target diseases should be considered.
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