Labeling neural cells using adenoviral gene transfer of membrane-targeted GFP

Neuron. 1996 Feb;16(2):255-60. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80044-6.


We describe an experimental system to visualize the soma and processes of mammalian neurons and glia in living and fixed preparations by using a recombinant adenovirus vector to transfer the jellyfish green fluorescent protein (GFP) into postmitotic neural cells both in vitro and in vivo. We have introduced several modifications of GFP that enhance its fluorescence intensity in mammalian axons and dendrites. This method should be useful for studying the dynamic processes of cell migration and the development of neuronal connections, as well as for analyzing the function of exogenous genes introduced into cells using the adenovirus vector.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics*
  • Adenoviridae / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics*
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Probes / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Scyphozoa / metabolism
  • Viral Fusion Proteins / physiology


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Molecular Probes
  • Viral Fusion Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins