There has been achieved for the first time, restore the sense of smell in mice by gene therapy. The achievement is a ray of hope for people who have never perceived odors, and perhaps for others who lost their ability to smell by disease.

There have found a possible way to cure congenital anosmia (permanent disability from birth, to detect odors) can also be used to research other diseases due to problems with the cilia. These, which are hair-like projections which are on the surface of cells, are involved in many diseases affecting the kidneys such or eyes.

cells that detect scents

The study authors, from the University of Michigan and other institutions, even warn the device waits much longer before their gene therapy to be validated as such and can be applied in humans. In principle, if all goes as planned, the therapy will be more important for people who have lost their sense of smell due to a genetic disorder, as it will be less applicable to those who have lost due to aging, head injury or chronic of the sinuses. However, this research paves the way towards a better understanding of the cellular scale anosmia.

The treatment tested by the team of Jeremy McIntyre and Jeffrey Martens, of that American university, consisting essentially of lead, in neurons that convey the sense of smell, a regrowth of cilia lost.

All mice in the study had a serious genetic defect that affects a protein called IFT88, causing lack of cilia.

The researchers inserted genes within IFT88 normal mouse cells by a virus inocularles strategy of flu loaded with normal DNA sequence needed to regrow cilia. The infectious virus had normal work, but also vital that sequence inserted DNA in mouse cells.

Fourteen days after treatment, it was clear that the mice had regained their ability to smell, at least in a reasonably good level.

This research is of great interest to other diseases caused by ciliary dysfunction. This includes conditions such as polycystic kidney disease, retinitis pigmentosa (a genetic disease is the most common inherited form of blindness), and some more rare hereditary conditions, such as Bardet-Biedl syndrome.