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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 378965, 11 pages
Research Article

Efficient Transduction of Feline Neural Progenitor Cells for Delivery of Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Using a Feline Immunodeficiency Virus-Based Lentiviral Construct

1Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, University of California, Irvine, 101 The City Drive, Bldg. 55, 2nd Fl, Orange, CA 92868-4380, USA
2Department of Ophthalmology, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200011, China
3Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Stem Cell Center, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, USA

Received 23 June 2010; Accepted 28 July 2010

Academic Editor: Muna Naash

Copyright © 2011 X. Joann You et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Work has shown that stem cell transplantation can rescue or replace neurons in models of retinal degenerative disease. Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) modified to overexpress neurotrophic factors are one means of providing sustained delivery of therapeutic gene products in vivo. To develop a nonrodent animal model of this therapeutic strategy, we previously derived NPCs from the fetal cat brain (cNPCs). Here we use bicistronic feline lentiviral vectors to transduce cNPCs with glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) together with a GFP reporter gene. Transduction efficacy is assessed, together with transgene expression level and stability during induction of cellular differentiation, together with the influence of GDNF transduction on growth and gene expression profile. We show that GDNF overexpressing cNPCs expand in vitro, coexpress GFP, and secrete high levels of GDNF protein—before and after differentiation—all qualities advantageous for use as a cell-based approach in feline models of neural degenerative disease.