Adeno-associated viral vectors for mapping, monitoring, and manipulating neural circuits

Hum Gene Ther. 2011 Jun;22(6):669-77. doi: 10.1089/hum.2010.204. Epub 2011 Apr 6.


Understanding the structure and function of neural circuits is central is neuroscience research. To address the associated questions, new genetically encoded tools have been developed for mapping, monitoring, and manipulating neurons. Essential to implementation of these tools is their selective delivery to defined neuronal populations in the brain. This has been facilitated by recent improvements in cell type-specific transgene expression using recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors. Here, we highlight these developments and discuss areas for improvement that could further expand capabilities for neural circuit analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Dependovirus*
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Humans
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Viral Tropism / genetics


  • Genetic Markers