Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy: Current approaches and future perspectives on Mesenchymal stem cell-mediated rescue


Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) is an inherited optic nerve disorder. It is a mitochondrially inherited disease due to point mutation in the MT-ND1, MT-ND4, and MT-ND6 genes of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) coding for complex I subunit proteins. These mutations affect the assembly of the mitochondrial complex I and hence the electron transport chain leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage. Optic nerve cells like retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are more sensitive to mitochondrial loss and oxidative damage which results in the progressive degeneration of RGCs at the axonal region of the optic nerve leading to bilateral vision loss. Currently, gene therapy using Adeno-associated viral vector (AAV) is widely studied for the therapeutics application in LHON. Our review highlights the application of cell-based therapy for LHON. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are known to rescue cells from the pre-apoptotic stage by transferring healthy mitochondria through tunneling nanotubes (TNT) for cellular oxidative function. Empowering the transfer of healthy mitochondria using MSCs may replace the mitochondria with pathogenic mutation and possibly benefit the cells from progressive damage. This review discusses the ongoing research in LHON and mitochondrial transfer mechanisms to explore its scope in inherited optic neuropathy. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. and Mitochondria Research Society. All rights reserved.

Authors Mohana Devi S, Abishek Kumar B, Mahalaxmi I, Balachandar V
Journal Mitochondrion
Publication Date 2021 Sep;60:201-218
PubMed 34454075
DOI 10.1016/j.mito.2021.08.013

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