Urocortin-2 (UCn2) peptide infusion increases cardiac function in patients with heart failure, but chronic peptide infusion is cumbersome, costly, and provides only short-term benefits. Gene transfer would circumvent these shortcomings. Here we ask whether a single intravenous injection of adeno-associated virus type 8 encoding murine urocortin-2 (AAV8.UCn2) could provide long-term elevation in plasma UCn2 levels and increased left ventricular (LV) function. Normal mice received AAV8.UCn2 (5×10¹¹ genome copies, intravenous). Plasma UCn2 increased 15-fold 6 weeks and >11-fold 7 months after delivery. AAV8 DNA and UCn2 mRNA expression was persistent in LV and liver up to 7 months after a single intravenous injection of AAV8.UCn2. Physiological studies conducted both in situ and ex vivo showed increases in LV +dP/dt and in LV -dP/dt, findings that endured unchanged for 7 months. SERCA2a mRNA and protein expression was increased in LV samples and Ca²⁺ transient studies showed an increased rate of Ca²⁺ decline in cardiac myocytes from mice that had received UCn2 gene transfer. We conclude that a single intravenous injection of AAV8.UCn2 increases plasma UCn2 and increases LV systolic and diastolic function for at least 7 months. The simplicity of intravenous injection of a long-term expression vector encoding a gene with paracrine activity to increase cardiac function is a potentially attractive strategy in clinical settings. Future studies will determine the usefulness of this approach in the treatment of heart failure.