Acute liver failure (ALF) is a life-threatening medical emergency and occurs when the liver rapidly loses its function within a short period. ALF can develop secondary to a variety of causes. Currently, the orthotopic liver transplantation is the “Gold Standard” therapy for the disease. However, due to the limited availability of donor organs and rapid progression of the disease, the mortality of ALF remains high. Therefore, it is imperative to develop novel therapeutic reagents for ALF. Gene therapy by delivering a target gene to the patients appears to be a promising approach for the treatment of ALF. Here, we review the recent advance of gene therapy for ALF, focusing on the three technical elements, animal models, vehicles for gene delivery and technique for gene delivery, which are important for the success of gene therapy as well as the potential targets used for the treatment of ALF.
Keywords: acute liver failure, gene therapy, viral vector, hydrodynamic gene delivery, small interfering RNA, liver transplantation
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