CLN2 neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis is a hereditary neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive vision loss, neurological decline, and seizures. CLN2 disease results from mutations in TPP1 that encodes the lysosomal enzyme tripeptidyl peptidase-1 (TPP1). Children with CLN2 neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis experience ocular disease, characterized by progressive retinal degeneration associated with impaired retinal function and gradual vision loss culminating in total blindness. A similar progressive loss of retinal function is also observed in a dog CLN2 model with a TPP1 null mutation. A study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of periodic intravitreal injections of recombinant human (rh) TPP1 in inhibiting retinal degeneration and preserving retinal function in the canine model. TPP1 null dogs received periodic intravitreal injections of rhTPP1 in one eye and vehicle in the other eye beginning at approximately 12 weeks of age. Ophthalmic exams, in vivo ocular imaging, and electroretinography (ERG) were repeated regularly to monitor retinal structure and function. Retinal histology was evaluated in eyes collected from these dogs when they were euthanized at end-stage neurological disease (43-46 weeks of age). Intravitreal rhTPP1 dosing prevented disease-related declines in ERG amplitudes in the TPP1-treated eyes. At end-stage neurologic disease, TPP1-treated eyes retained normal morphology while the contralateral vehicle-treated eyes exhibited loss of inner retinal neurons and photoreceptor disorganization typical of CLN2 disease. The treatment also prevented the development of disease-related focal retinal detachments observed in the control eyes. Uveitis occurred secondary to the administration of the rhTPP1 but did not hinder the therapeutic benefits. These findings demonstrate that periodic intravitreal injection of rhTPP1 preserves retinal structure and function in canine CLN2 disease.
Keywords: Electroretinogram; Genetic diseases; Intravitreal drug delivery; Retina; Retinal degeneration; Uveitis.
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