Efficient in Utero Gene Transfer to the Mammalian Inner Ears by the Synthetic Adeno-Associated Viral Vector Anc80L65

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2020 Jun 24;18:493-500. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2020.06.019. eCollection 2020 Sep 11.


Sensorineural hearing loss is one of the most common sensory disorders worldwide. Recent advances in vector design have paved the way for investigations into the use of adeno-associated vectors (AAVs) for hearing disorder gene therapy. Numerous AAV serotypes have been discovered to be applicable to inner ears, constituting a key advance for gene therapy for sensorineural hearing loss, where transduction efficiency of AAV in inner ear cells is critical for success. One such viral vector, AAV2/Anc80L65, has been shown to yield high expression in the inner ears of mice treated as neonates or adults. Here, to evaluate the feasibility of prenatal gene therapy for deafness, we assessed the transduction efficiency of AAV2/Anc80L65-eGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) after microinjection into otocysts in utero. This embryonic delivery method achieved high transduction efficiency in both inner and outer hair cells of the cochlea. Additionally, the transduction efficiency was high in the hair cells of the vestibules and semicircular canals and in spiral ganglion neurons. Our results support the potential of Anc80L65 as a gene therapy vehicle for prenatal inner ear disorders.

Keywords: AAV2/Anc80L65; adeno-associated virus; gene therapy; hereditary deafness; in utero microinjection; inner ears.