Gene therapy and respiratory neuroplasticity

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Breathing is a life-sustaining behavior that in mammals is accomplished by activation of dedicated muscles responsible for inspiratory and expiratory forces acting on the lung and chest wall. Motor control is exerted by specialized pools of motoneurons in the medulla and spinal cord innervated by projections from multiple centers primarily in the brainstem that act in concert to generate both the rhythm and pattern of ventilation. Perturbations that prevent the accomplishment of the full range of motor behaviors by respiratory muscles commonly result in significant morbidity and increased mortality. Recent developments in gene therapy and novel targeting strategies have contributed to deeper understanding of the organization of respiratory motor systems. Gene therapy has received widespread attention and substantial progress has been made in recent years with the advent of improved tools for vector design. Genes can be delivered via a variety of plasmids, synthetic or viral vectors and cell therapies. In recent years, adeno-associated viruses (AAV) have become one of the most commonly used vector systems, primarily because of the extensive characterization conducted to date and the versatility in targeting strategies. Recent studies highlight the power of using AAV to selectively and effectively transduce respiratory motoneurons and muscle fibers with promising therapeutic effects. This brief review summarizes current evidence for the use of gene therapy in respiratory disorders with a primary focus on interventions that address motor control and neuroplasticity, including regeneration, in the respiratory system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Neurology
Volume287
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Diaphragm muscle
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Neurotrophin
  • Regeneration
  • Respiratory muscles
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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