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Delivery of Antisense Oligonucleotides to the Cornea

Delivery of Antisense Oligonucleotides to the Cornea

Nucleic Acid Therapeutics 30(4): 207-214

ISSN/ISBN: 2159-3337

PMID: 32202944

DOI: 10.1089/nat.2019.0838

Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) are synthetic nucleic acids that recognize complementary RNA sequences inside cells and modulate gene expression. In this study, we explore the feasibility of ASO delivery to the cornea. We used quantitative polymerase chain reaction to test the efficacy of a benchmark ASO targeting a noncoding nuclear RNA, Metastasis-Associated Lung Adenocarcinoma Transcript 1 (MALAT1), in a human corneal endothelial cell line, ex vivo human corneas, and in vivo in mice. In vivo delivery was via intravitreal or intracameral injections as well as topical administration. The anti-MALAT1 ASO significantly reduced expression of MALAT1 in a corneal endothelial cell line. We achieved a dose-dependent reduction of target gene expression in endothelial tissue from ex vivo human donor corneas. In vivo mouse experiments confirmed MALAT1 reduction in whole corneal tissue via intravitreal and intracameral routes, 82% and 71% knockdown, respectively (P < 0.001). Effects persisted up to at least 21 days, 32% (P < 0.05) and 43% (P < 0.05) knockdown, respectively. We developed protocols for the isolation and analysis of mouse corneal endothelium and observed reduction in MALAT1 expression upon both intravitreal and intracameral administrations, 64% (P < 0.05) and 63% (P < 0.05) knockdown, respectively. These data open the possibility of using ASOs to treat corneal disease.

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Accession: 069942415

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