Mitochondrial dysfunction mediated loss of respiration, oxidative stress, and loss of cellular homeostasis contributes to the neuronal and axonal degenerations permanent loss of function in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model (EAE) of multiple sclerosis (MS). To address the mitochondrial dysfunction mediated visual loss in EAE mice, self-complementary adeno-associated virus (scAAV) containing the NADH-dehydrogenase type-2 (NDI1) complex I gene was intravitreally injected into the mice after the onset of visual defects. Visual function assessed by pattern electroretinogram (PERGs) showed progressive loss of function in EAE mice were improved significantly in NDI1 gene therapy-treated mice. Serial optical coherence tomography (OCT) revealed that progressive thinning of inner retinal layers in EAE mice was prevented upon NDI1 expression. The 45% optic nerve axonal and 33% retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss contributed to the permanent loss of visual function in EAE mice were ameliorated by NDI1-mediated prevention of mitochondrial cristae dissolution and improved mitochondrial homeostasis. In conclusion, targeting the dysfunctional complex I using NDI1 gene can be an approach to address axonal and neuronal loss responsible for permanent disability in MS that is unaltered by current disease modifying drugs.
- Adeno-associated viral serotype 2 (AAV2)
- Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE)
- Gene therapy
- Mitochondrial degeneration
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience