Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(5):607-616. doi:10.7150/ijms.5700 This issue

Research Paper

Adenoviral and Adeno-Associated Viral Vectors-Mediated Neuronal Gene Transfer to Cardiovascular Control Regions of the Rat Brain

Yanling Zhang1,*, Yongxin Gao2,*, Robert C. Speth2,3, Nan Jiang2, Yingying Mao1, Colin Sumners2, Hongwei Li1✉

1. School of Biotechnology, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China;
2. Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics and McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA;
3. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA.
* Both authors contributed equally to this work.

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Zhang Y, Gao Y, Speth RC, Jiang N, Mao Y, Sumners C, Li H. Adenoviral and Adeno-Associated Viral Vectors-Mediated Neuronal Gene Transfer to Cardiovascular Control Regions of the Rat Brain. Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(5):607-616. doi:10.7150/ijms.5700. Available from

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Viral vectors have been utilized extensively to introduce genetic material into the central nervous system. In order to investigate gene functions in cardiovascular control regions of rat brain, we applied WPRE (woodchuck hepatitis virus post-transcriptional regulatory element) enhanced-adenoviral (Ad) and adeno-assoicated virus (AAV) type 2 vectors to mediate neuronal gene delivery to the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, the nucleus tractus solitarius and the rostral ventrolateral medulla, three important cardiovascular control regions known to express renin-angiotensin system (RAS) genes. Ad or AAV2 harboring an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) reporter gene or the angiotensin type 2 receptor gene were microinjected into these brain regions in adult rats. Our results demonstrated that both AAV2 and Ad vectors elicited long-term neuronal transduction in these regions. Interestingly, we found that the WPRE caused expression of GFP driven by the synapsin1 promoter in pure glial cultures or co-cultures of neurons and glia derived from rat hypothalamus and brainstem. However, in rat paraventricular nucleus WPRE did not cause expression of GFP in glia. This demonstrates the potential use of these vectors in studies of physiological functions of certain genes in the cardiovascular control regions of the brain.

Keywords: adenoviral vector, adeno-associated viral vector, cardiovascular control regions of brain, neuron, gene transfer.