Intracranial Injection of Adeno-associated Viral Vectors

Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Rochester, USA.
Journal of Visualized Experiments 11/2010; DOI: 10.3791/2140
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Intracranial injection of viral vectors engineered to express a fluorescent protein is a versatile labeling technique for visualization of specific subsets of cells in different brain regions both in vivo and in brain sections. Unlike the injection of fluorescent dyes, viral labeling offers targeting of individual cell types and is less expensive and time consuming than establishing transgenic mouse lines. In this technique, an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector is injected intracranially using stereotaxic coordinates, a micropipette and an automated pump for precise delivery of AAV to the desired area with minimal damage to the surrounding tissue. Injection parameters can be tailored to individual experiments by adjusting the animal age at injection, injection location, volume of injection, rate of injection, AAV serotype and the promoter driving gene expression. Depending on the conditions chosen, virally-induced transgene expression can allow visualization of groups of cells, individual cells or fine cellular processes, down to the level of dendritic spines. The experiment shown here depicts an injection of double-stranded AAV expressing green fluorescent protein for the labeling of neurons and glia in the mouse primary visual cortex.

Download full-text


Available from: Rebecca Lowery, Aug 25, 2014
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fundamental questions that neuroscientists have previously approached with classical biochemical and electrophysiological techniques can now be addressed using optogenetics. The term optogenetics reflects the key program of this emerging field, namely, combining optical and genetic techniques. With the already impressively successful application of light-driven actuator proteins such as microbial opsins to interact with intact neural circuits, optogenetics rose to a key technology over the past few years. While spearheaded by tools to control membrane voltage, the more general concept of optogenetics includes the use of a variety of genetically encoded probes for physiological parameters ranging from membrane voltage and calcium concentration to metabolism. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the state of the art in this rapidly growing discipline and attempt to sketch some of its future prospects and challenges.
    Progress in brain research 01/2012; 196:1-28. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-444-59426-6.00001-X · 5.10 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Somatic stem cells can divide to generate additional stem cells (expansion) or more differentiated cell types (differentiation), which is fundamental for tissue formation during embryonic development and tissue homeostasis during adulthood (1). Currently, great efforts are invested towards controlling the switch of somatic stem cells from expansion to differentiation because this is thought to be fundamental for developing novel strategies for regenerative medicine (1,2). However, a major challenge in the study and use of somatic stem cell is that their expansion has been proven very difficult to control. Here we describe a system that allows the control of neural stem/progenitor cell (altogether referred to as NSC) expansion in the mouse embryonic cortex or the adult hippocampus by manipulating the expression of the cdk4/cyclinD1 complex, a major regulator of the G1 phase of the cell cycle and somatic stem cell differentiation (3,4). Specifically, two different approaches are described by which the cdk4/cyclinD1 complex is overexpressed in NSC in vivo. By the first approach, overexpression of the cell cycle regulators is obtained by injecting plasmids encoding for cdk4/cyclinD1 in the lumen of the mouse telencephalon followed by in utero electroporation to deliver them to NSC of the lateral cortex, thus, triggering episomal expression of the transgenes (5-8). By the second approach, highly concentrated HIV-derived viruses are stereotaxically injected in the dentate gyrus of the adult mouse hippocampus, thus, triggering constitutive expression of the cell cycle regulators after integration of the viral construct in the genome of infected cells (9). Both approaches, whose basic principles were already described by other video protocols (10-14), were here optimized to i) reduce tissue damage, ii) target wide portions of very specific brain regions, iii) obtain high numbers of manipulated cells within each region, and iv) trigger high expression levels of the transgenes within each cell. Transient overexpression of the transgenes using the two approaches is obtained by different means i.e. by natural dilution of the electroporated plasmids due to cell division or tamoxifen administration in Cre-expressing NSC infected with viruses carrying cdk4/cyclinD1 flanked by loxP sites, respectively (9,15). These methods provide a very powerful platform to acutely and tissue-specifically manipulate the expression of any gene in the mouse brain. In particular, by manipulating the expression of the cdk4/cyclinD1 complex, our system allows the temporal control of NSC expansion and their switch to differentiation, thus, ultimately increasing the number of neurons generated in the mammalian brain. Our approach may be critically important for basic research and using somatic stem cells for therapy of the mammalian central nervous system while providing a better understanding of i) stem cell contribution to tissue formation during development, ii) tissue homeostasis during adulthood, iii) the role of adult neurogenesis in cognitive functions, and perhaps, iv) better using somatic stem cells in models of neurodegenerative diseases.
    Journal of Visualized Experiments 01/2012; DOI:10.3791/4093
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Gene therapy has strong potential for treating a variety of genetic disorders, as demonstrated in recent clinical trials. There is unfortunately no scarcity of disease targets, and the grand challenge in this field has instead been the development of safe and efficient gene delivery platforms. To date, approximately two thirds of the 1800 gene therapy clinical trials completed worldwide have used viral vectors. Among these, adeno-associated virus (AAV) has emerged as particularly promising because of its impressive safety profile and efficiency in transducing a wide range of cell types. Gene delivery to the CNS involves both considerable promise and unique challenges, and better AAV vectors are thus needed to translate CNS gene therapy approaches to the clinic. This review discusses strategies for vector design, potential routes of administration, immune responses, and clinical applications of AAV in the CNS.
    The Neuroscientist 02/2014; 21(1). DOI:10.1177/1073858414521870 · 7.62 Impact Factor

Questions & Answers about this publication

  • Kamal Hamdy added an answer in Micropipettes:
    How can I calibrate the volume I have to inject in brain mouse with glass pipette?

    I want to inject a virus in the striatum. For this I used before hamilton seringe with 30G needles. But now I want to inject with glass pipette calibrated Witerol MICROPIPETTE WIRETROL 5μL. To calibrate the pompe injector I need the volume and the diameter of the micropipette. BUt I dont have the last information.

    Any one have any Idea or advice on the how I can calibrate it, and know the volume that I inject.

    Thank you