Gene Delivery to the Retina Using Lentiviral Vectors

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The delivery of foreign DNA to the retina has proven to be a valuable tool for investigations of retinal disease, development, and complex cellular interactions. To achieve efficient and stable retinal gene expression with minimal unwanted side effects, viral vectors derived from AAV (adeno-associated virus) and LV (lentivirus) remain the vehicles of choice. LV vectors have gained recent attention in CNS gene delivery due in part to their large transgene capacity, however contradictory results regarding retinal transduction ability exist in the literature. We sought specifically to characterize the temporal and spatial expression pattern of LV vectors when delivered to the rodent retina.