Comparison of adenoviral and adeno-associated viral vectors for pancreatic gene delivery in vivo

Hum Gene Ther. 2004 Apr;15(4):405-13. doi: 10.1089/104303404322959551.


Although effective gene therapy vectors have been developed for organ systems such as the liver, an effective delivery vector to the pancreas in vivo has remained elusive. Of the currently available viral vectors, adenovirus and adeno-associated virus (AAV) are two of the most efficient at transducing nondividing cells. We have constructed recombinant adenovirus (AdVLacZ), adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (AAV2LacZ), and pseudotyped adeno-associated virus serotype 5 and 8 (AAV5LacZ, AAV8LacZ) carrying the LacZ reporter, and compared the transduction efficiency of these four vectors in the pancreas of mice in vivo. We showed that adenovirus, AAV2, and AAV8 are capable of transducing the pancreas in vivo, but with different expression kinetics, efficiencies of transduction, and persistence. AdVLacZ-transduced pancreas exhibited maximum LacZ expression at 1 week postdelivery, with greater than 90% of expression lost at 4 weeks. AAV2LacZ-transduced pancreas displayed peak LacZ levels at 4 weeks postdelivery, with no significant decrease in expression for up to 8 weeks. AAV8LacZ was at least 10-fold more efficient than AAV2LacZ in transducing the pancreas in vivo, with significant levels of expression detectable at 1 week, whereas AAV5LacZ did not result in any detectable transgene expression at all tested time points. All three vectors primarily transduced pancreatic acinar cell types, with limited transduction of pancreatic endocrine cells. AdVLacZ elicited a significant leukocyte infiltration early after delivery into the pancreas, whereas none of the AAV vectors elicited a significant leukocyte response. None of the tested vectors caused significant changes in serum amylase or blood glucose levels, suggesting that they do not significantly alter pancreatic function. These vectors will be useful for studying novel gene delivery based treatments in animal models for diabetes and other pancreatic disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics*
  • Amylases / blood
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Dependovirus / genetics*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Lac Operon / physiology*
  • Leukocytes
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Pancreas / metabolism*
  • Transduction, Genetic


  • Blood Glucose
  • Amylases