Tropism and toxicity of adeno-associated viral vector serotypes 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 in rat neurons and glia in vitro

Virology. 2008 Mar 1;372(1):24-34. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2007.10.007. Epub 2007 Nov 26.


Recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors are frequently used for gene delivery to the central nervous system and are capable of transducing neurons and glia in vitro. In this study, seven serotypes of a rAAV vector expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) were characterized for tropism and toxicity in primary cortical cells derived from embryonic rat brain. At 2 days after transduction, serotypes 1 and 5 through 8 expressed GFP predominately in glia, but by 6 days post-transduction expression was neuronal except for AAV5. AAV2 and 9 produced minimal GFP expression. Using cell viability assays, toxicity was observed at higher multiplicities of infection (MOI) for all serotypes except AAV2 and 9. The toxicity of AAV1 and 5-8 affected mostly glia as indicated by a loss of glial-marker immunoreactivity. A frameshift mutation in the GFP gene reduced overall toxicity for serotypes 1, 5 and 6, but not 7 and 8 suggesting that the toxicity was not solely due to the overexpression of GFP. Collectively, a differential tropism and toxicity was observed among the AAV serotypes on primary cortical cultures with an overall preferential glial transduction and toxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Cortex / embryology
  • Cerebral Cortex / virology
  • Dependovirus / classification*
  • Dependovirus / genetics
  • Dependovirus / pathogenicity*
  • Female
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Neuroglia / virology*
  • Neurons / virology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Serotyping
  • Transduction, Genetic


  • Green Fluorescent Proteins