Retrograde neuronal tracing with a deletion-mutant rabies virus

Nat Methods. 2007 Jan;4(1):47-9. doi: 10.1038/nmeth999. Epub 2006 Dec 10.


We have constructed a deletion-mutant rabies virus encoding EGFP and find it to be an excellent tool for studying detailed morphology and physiology of neurons projecting to injection sites within the mammalian brain. The virus cannot spread beyond initially infected cells yet, unlike other viral vectors, replicates its core within them. The cells therefore fluoresce intensely, revealing fine dendritic and axonal structure with no background from partially or faintly labeled cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport / physiology
  • Brain / physiology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Mice
  • Motor Neurons / cytology*
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Motor Neurons / virology*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Rabies virus / genetics
  • Rabies virus / physiology*
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins