One of the key factors that determines the efficacy of adenovirus-mediated gene therapy in genetic diseases, is the degree and extent of transduction of the target cells by adenovirus (AV)-recombinants carrying the therapeutic gene or cDNA. In this paper we provide experimental evidence which indicates that the route of administration of the AV-recombinants has a major influence on the transduction of various tissues in young rats. The heart, diaphragm, intercostal muscles and thymus show high transduction after intra-arterial (left cardiac ventricle) injection. By contrast, the liver shows a high transduction after intravenous injection. A substantial viremia develops within 2 h of gastric-rectal, intraperitoneal and intracardiac administration of AV recombinants. The number of adenoviral DNA copies per nucleus of transduced cells ranged from one to three in most tissues. These numbers correlated well with the overall transduction efficiency of the tissue determined by reporter gene expression. The various factors that determine which route of administration favors a high transduction rate in a particular tissue can be analyzed and this can lead to an improved efficiency of gene therapy in targeting a particular tissue in a disease.