Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Gene Therapy Restores Sense of Smell in Mice

Published: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Mice that were unable to smell from birth gained the ability to smell when researchers used gene therapy to regrow structures called cilia on cells that detect odor.

The approach might one day lead to treatments for related human genetic disorders.

Cilia are antenna-like projections on cells that help them sense their environment. Genetic disorders of the cilia, known as ciliopathies, include diseases as diverse as polycystic kidney disease and retinitis pigmentosa—an inherited, degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and blindness. In the olfactory system, multiple cilia project from olfactory sensory neurons, cells high up in the nasal cavity. These cilia have receptors on their surfaces that bind odorants. A loss of these cilia results in a loss of the ability to smell, which is called anosmia.

A team of researchers, led by Drs. Jeremy C. McIntyre and Jeffrey R. Martens at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has been studying mice carrying a mutation in the IFT88 gene. The mutation causes a decrease in the IFT88 protein, which leads to a dramatic reduction in cilia function in several different organ systems, including the olfactory system. To see if the gene might play a role in human disease, the scientists examined the IFT88 genes of over 200 people with severe ciliopathies. Their work was funded by 4 NIH components, led by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders (NIDCD).

As reported online on September 2, 2012, in Nature Medicine, the scientists detected IFT88 mutations in several people with severe ciliopathies. Experiments in zebrafish, a common laboratory model for development, confirmed that mutant IFT88 genes can cause developmental defects.

The researchers next used a harmless virus to introduce a healthy copy of IFT88 into the mice with the mutant version. For 3 consecutive days, the mice received intranasal doses of the virus. They were then given 10 days for infected sensory neurons to express the IFT88 protein. After this period, the mice were tested with an odorant called amyl acetate. The researchers found that the mice had regained olfactory function.

In many mammals, including humans, the urge to eat is driven by smell. The mice the scientists studied are born underweight, and their anosmia interferes with their motivation to eat. The body weight of mice treated with the gene therapy was 60% higher than that of untreated mice, showing that restored olfactory function motivated feeding.

This study shows that gene therapy can be used to restore functional cilia in established cells. “These results could lead to one of the first therapeutic options for treating people with congenital anosmia,” says NIDCD Director Dr. James F. Battey, Jr. “They also set the stage for therapeutic approaches to treating diseases that involve cilia dysfunction in other organ systems, many of which can be fatal if left untreated.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,400+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

NIH Researchers Identify Striking Genomic Signature for Cancer
Institute has identified striking signature shared by five types of cancer.
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Genetic Cause of Rare Allergy
Institute has identified a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited hives induced by vibratory urticaria.
Friday, February 05, 2016
Drug Combination May be Highly Effective in Recurrent Ovarian Cancer
The drugs were tested in a phase I combination study followed by a randomized phase 2 trial.
Monday, June 02, 2014
TCGA Bladder Cancer Study Reveals Potential Drug Targets, Similarities to Several Cancers
Investigators have identified new potential therapeutic targets for a major form of bladder cancer, including important genes and pathways that are disrupted in the disease.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Gene Variants Found Associated With Human Immune System, Autoimmune Disease
Numerous studies have reported that certain diseases are inherited. But genetics also plays a role in immune response, affecting our ability to stave off disease.
Friday, September 27, 2013
NIH Program Explores the Use of Genomic Sequencing in Newborn Healthcare
Can sequencing of newborns’ genomes provide useful medical information beyond what current newborn screening already provides?
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Clues to Congenital Heart Disease
Non-inherited mutations in hundreds of genes together account for about 1 in 10 cases of severe congenital heart defects.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Gene Therapy for Salivary Gland Shows Promise
An experimental trial showed that gene therapy can be performed safely in the human salivary gland.
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Researchers Discover Key Mutation in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Researchers have discovered mutations in a particular gene that affects the treatment prognosis for some patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), an aggressive blood cancer that kills 9,000 Americans annually.
Monday, November 15, 2010
NIH Launches Genotype-Tissue Expression Project
Project to chart influence of DNA changes on gene function in human tissues and organs.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Gene Variations that Alter Key Enzyme Linked to Prostate Cancer
Ties found previously for susceptibility to testicular cancer, adrenal gland tumors.
Monday, October 04, 2010
NCBI Launches the Database of Genomic Structural Variations
A new tool to aid in understanding the genetics of health and disease.
Friday, October 01, 2010
NIH Expands Network Focused on How Genes Affect Drug Responses
NIH plans to spend $161.3 million over the next five years to expand the Pharmacogenomics Research Network.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Gene Scan Finds Link Across Array of Childhood Brain Disorders
Researchers found gene mutations through whole exome sequencing - a new gene scanning technology that cuts the cost and time of searching for rare mutations.
Friday, August 27, 2010
New Compound Improves Obesity-Related Health Complications in NIH-Led Study
A report of the study, which was conducted with obese mice, appears online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Scientific News
Cell Transplant Treats Parkinson’s in Mice
A University of Wisconsin—Madison neuroscientist has inserted a genetic switch into nerve cells so a patient can alter their activity by taking designer drugs that would not affect any other cell.
Understanding Female HIV Transmission
Glowing virus maps points of entry through entire female reproductive tract for first time.
Genetic Markers Influence Addiction
Differences in vulnerability to cocaine addiction and relapse linked to both inherited traits and epigenetics, U-M researchers find.
A lncRNA Regulates Repair of DNA Breaks in Breast Cancer Cells
Findings give "new insight" into biology of tough-to-treat breast cancer.
Detection of HPV in First-Void Urine
Similar sensitivity of HPV test on first void urine sample compared to cervical smear.
Shape Of Tumor May Affect Whether Cells Can Metastasize
Illinois researchers found that the shape of a tumor may play a role in how cancer cells become primed to spread.
Computational Model Finds New Protein-Protein Interactions
Researchers at University of Pittsburgh have discovered 500 new protein-protein interactions (PPIs) associated with genes linked to schizophrenia.
MicroRNA Pathway Could Lead to New Avenues for Leukemia Treatment
Cancer researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found a particular signaling route in microRNA (miR-22) that could lead to targets for acute myeloid leukemia, the most common type of fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Analysis of Dog Genome will Provide Insight into Human Disease
An important model in studying human disease, the non-coding RNA of the canine genome is an essential starting point for evolutionary and biomedical studies – according to a new study led by The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC).
New Insights into Gene Regulation
Researchers have solved the three-dimensional structure of a gene repression complex that is known to play a role in cancer.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,400+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!