Capsid serotype and timing of injection determines AAV transduction in the neonatal mice brain

PLoS One. 2013 Jun 25;8(6):e67680. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067680. Print 2013.


Adeno-associated virus (AAV) mediated gene expression is a powerful tool for gene therapy and preclinical studies. A comprehensive analysis of CNS cell type tropism, expression levels and biodistribution of different capsid serotypes has not yet been undertaken in neonatal rodents. Our previous studies show that intracerebroventricular injection with AAV2/1 on neonatal day P0 results in widespread CNS expression but the biodistribution is limited if injected beyond neonatal day P1. To extend these observations we explored the effect of timing of injection on tropism and biodistribution of six commonly used pseudotyped AAVs delivered in the cerebral ventricles of neonatal mice. We demonstrate that AAV2/8 and 2/9 resulted in the most widespread biodistribution in the brain. Most serotypes showed varying biodistribution depending on the day of injection. Injection on neonatal day P0 resulted in mostly neuronal transduction, whereas administration in later periods of development (24-84 hours postnatal) resulted in more non-neuronal transduction. AAV2/5 showed widespread transduction of astrocytes irrespective of the time of injection. None of the serotypes tested showed any microglial transduction. This study demonstrates that both capsid serotype and timing of injection influence the regional and cell-type distribution of AAV in neonatal rodents, and emphasizes the utility of pseudotyped AAV vectors for translational gene therapy paradigms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Astrocytes / virology
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / virology
  • Capsid / metabolism*
  • Dependovirus / classification*
  • Dependovirus / genetics*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Injections
  • Mice
  • Serotyping*
  • Time Factors
  • Transduction, Genetic / methods*
  • Viral Tropism


  • enhanced green fluorescent protein
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins