Differential and persistent expression patterns of CNS gene transfer by an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector

Brain Res. 1996 Mar 25;713(1-2):99-107. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(95)01488-8.


Safe, long-term gene expression is a primary criteria for effective gene therapy in the brain, so studies were initiated to evaluate adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector transfer of a reporter gene into specific sites of the rat brain. In the 4 day old rat, site infusions of AAV-CMV-lacZ (1 microliter; 5 x 10(4) particles) produced neuronal beta-galactosidase gene expression 3 weeks later in the hippocampus and inferior colliculus, but not in the cerebral cortex. Seven days after infusion of AAV-CMV-lacZ viral vectors (1 microliter) in the adult rat, beta-galactosidase gene expression was found in the olfactory tubercle, caudate, hippocampus, piriform cortex and inferior colliculus. primarily in multipolar neurons close to the infusion site. Three months after vector microinfusion, similar levels of gene expression remained in the olfactory tubercle and the inferior colliculus, with some reduction found in the caudate, but substantial reductions in beta-galactosidase gene expression occurred in the hippocampus and piriform cortex. In no case were obvious signs of toxicity noted. Therefore, AAV vectors can transfer foreign genes into the adult and neonatal CNS, but the pattern and longevity of gene expression depends upon the area of brain being studied.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dependovirus / genetics*
  • Female
  • Galactosidases / metabolism
  • Gene Expression / genetics*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Microinjections
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Galactosidases