Recombinant adenoviruses have great potential as gene delivery systems because of their ability to infect a wide range of target cells. However, systemic delivery of viral vectors to tissues other than liver and spleen has been inefficient because of the rapid clearance of the circulating virus by the liver. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that a systemic administration of E1-deleted recombinant adenovirus vectors that bypasses the hepatic circulation will lead to enhanced expression of these vectors in extrahepatic tissues. The portal vein and hepatic artery in B6/129 F1 mice were clamped and an E1-deleted recombinant adenovirus carrying the beta-galactosidase gene (Ad.CBlacZ) was then administered through the retroorbital venous plexus. The clamp was released 30 min after viral injection with no major chronic ischemic consequences noted. High levels of LacZ expression were detected predominantly in the vessels and capillaries of the lung, intestinal wall, and renal glomeruli 7 days after viral infusion. The transgene expression persisted for at least 21 days. Intense LacZ staining was also observed in the liver, suggesting that liver infection occurred after the portal clamp was released. A retroorbital infusion of anti-adenovirus neutralizing antibodies 5 min before the release of the portal clamp significantly reduced postclamp viral infection to the liver, while LacZ expression in lung and intestine persisted after the antibody treatment. Taken together, these results suggest that liver bypass can significantly improve the transduction efficiency in the other target organs. This method could be used to develop animal models of human diseases that predominantly affect the vessels of the lung, intestine, and kidney.