Neurons in Golgi-stain-like images revealed by GFP-adenovirus infection in vivo

Neurosci Res. 2000 Nov;38(3):231-6. doi: 10.1016/s0168-0102(00)00176-0.


Neurons in the adult brain have a very complex morphology with many processes, including tremendously long axons. Since dendrites and axons play key roles in the input and output of neural information, respectively, the visualization of complete images of these processes is necessary to reveal the mechanism of neural information processing. Here we made a recombinant adenovirus vector which encodes green fluorescent protein (GFP) tagged with a palmitoylation site, a membrane-targeting signal, produced specific antibodies to GFP, and used them as probes for staining the nervous system. In the neocortex, after injection of the recombinant virus and immunoperoxidase staining with the antibodies, many different types of cells were labeled in a Golgi stain-like fashion. Although the number of labeled cells varied depending on the amount of virus injected, the recombinant virus was considered to be infectious to cortical neurons of all cell types without selectivity. In contrast, the viral infection in the cerebellar cortex and superior cervical ganglion showed some selectivity toward the cell type. It is expected that this recombinant virus will be a useful tool for the morphological analysis of neuronal connections, especially the analysis of microcircuitry in the cerebral cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / cytology
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Ventricles / cytology
  • Cerebral Ventricles / embryology
  • Ganglia, Sympathetic / cytology
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Golgi Apparatus / ultrastructure*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Luminescent Proteins* / genetics
  • Neurons / ultrastructure*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins