Authors :

  • A-P Bemelmans
  • Y Arsenijevic
  • F. Majo

Gene Therapy volume 16, pages933–938 (2009)

Efficient lentiviral gene transfer into corneal stroma cells using a femtosecond laser


We investigated a new procedure for gene transfer into the stroma of pig cornea for the delivery of therapeutic factors. A delimited space was created at 110 μm depth with a LDV femtosecond laser in pig corneas, and a HIV1-derived lentiviral vector expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) (LV-CMV-GFP) was injected into the pocket. Corneas were subsequently dissected and kept in culture as explants. After 5 days, histological analysis of the explants revealed that the corneal pockets had closed and that the gene transfer procedure was efficient over the whole pocket area. Almost all the keratocytes were transduced in this area. Vector diffusion at right angles to the pocket’s plane encompasses four (endothelium side) to 10 (epithelium side) layers of keratocytes. After 21 days, the level of transduction was similar to the results obtained after 5 days. The femtosecond laser technique allows a reliable injection and diffusion of lentiviral vectors to efficiently transduce stromal cells in a delimited area. Showing the efficacy of this procedure in vivo could represent an important step toward treatment or prevention of recurrent angiogenesis of the corneal stroma.