A2: Immunomodulation by viral vectors

Novel strategies are being developed to overcome major immunological barriers to xenotransplantation aim aim to optimize long-term engraftment of the transplanted tissue. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) 2.9 vectors will be used for the overexpression of cardioprotective factors, e.g. for vessel stabilization. Transduction efficacy of the entire heart as well as target cell selection are still unmet needs for the use of AAVs. Therefore, we aim to enhance specificity and efficacy by nanoparticle coating. As a second step, nanoparticles will be modified by specific peptides, which allow to aim at target cells. In addition, attenuation of cardiac hypertrophy via antimiRs and shRNA will be evaluated for improved organ survival after transplantation.