In the neuroscience field over the past several decades, viral vectors have become powerful gene delivery systems to study neural populations of interest. For neural stem cell (NSC) biology, such viruses are often used to birth-date and track NSCs over developmental time in lineage tracing experiments. Yet, the probability of successful infection of a given stem cell in vivo remains unknown. This information would be helpful to inform investigators interested in titrating their viruses to selectively target sparsely-populated clusters of cells in the nervous system. Here, we describe a novel approach to calculate the probability of successful viral infection of NSCs using experimentally-derived cell cluster data from our newly-developed method to sparsely label adult NSCs, and a simple statistical derivation. Others interested in precisely defining their viral infection efficiency can use this method for a variety of basic and translational studies.
Keywords: Adult neural stem cell; Clonal analysis; Lentivirus; Lineage tracing; Probability estimation; Retrovirus.
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