The advancement of gene therapy-based approaches to treat heart disease represents a need for clinically relevant animal models with characteristics equivalent to human pathologies. Rodent models of cardiac disease do not precisely reproduce heart failure phenotype and molecular defects. This has motivated researchers to use large animals whose heart size and physiological processes more similar and comparable to those of humans. Today, adeno-associated viruses (AAV)-based vectors are undoubtedly among the most promising DNA delivery vehicles. Here, AAV biology and technology are reviewed and discussed in the context of their use and efficacy for cardiac gene delivery in large-animal models of heart failure, using different surgical approaches. The remaining challenges and opportunities for the use of AAV-based vector delivery for gene therapy applications in the clinic are also highlighted.
- AAV virus
- animal models of heart failure
- cardiac gene delivery
- heart disease