Non-viral gene therapy for neurological diseases, with an emphasis on targeted gene delivery

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    Non-viral gene therapy systems are considered safer than viral delivery. This article reviews recent research describing novel, non-viral gene delivery to the central nervous system, with a special emphasis on receptor mediated gene delivery using antibodies (termed immunogenes) to specific receptors. By using targeting agents such as antibodies that can be retrogradely transported within neurons, non-viral gene therapies can deliver genes to specific neurons protected by the blood brain barrier. Components of effective non-viral gene therapy are described including DNA/RNA carriers, receptor-mediated endocytosis, endosomal escape and nuclear entry. In addition, stealth agents such as polyethylene glycol that can be used to improve in-vivo delivery are discussed. The value of immunogenes as therapeutic agents for fatal diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is significant but further in-vivo work to confirm efficacy is required before truly effective therapies can be achieved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)183-189
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Controlled Release
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2012


    • Antibody
    • Non-viral
    • Receptor-mediated gene delivery
    • Targeted gene delivery


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