Gene therapy restores sense of smell in mice

Scientists have used gene therapy to restore the sense of smell in mice.

Gene therapy was used to restore cilia, the tiny hair-shaped structures on the surface of cells. The cilia in the nasal cavity have receptors that bind odorants, which is why a loss of cilia inhibits the ability to smell. The loss of smell contributes to poor feeding, leading to a myriad of health issues.

By inserting the missing protein IFT88 into the cells of mice, cilia growth was restored. The research raises hope for curing cilia dysfunction in humans.