Targeting adenoviral transgene expression to neurons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colleges, School and Institutes


Adenovirus (Ad) is an efficient and safe vector for CNS gene delivery since it infects non-replicating neurons and does not cause insertional mutagenesis of host cell genomes. However, the promiscuous Ad CAR receptor targets cells non-specifically and activates a host immune response. Using Ad5 containing an expression cassette encoding the gene for green fluorescent protein, gfp, regulated by the neuron specific promoter synapsin-1 and the woodchuck post-transcriptional regulatory element (WPRE), we demonstrate efficient, prolonged and promoter-restricted gfp expression in neurons of mixed primary adult rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and retinal cell cultures. We also demonstrate restricted gfp expression in DRG neurons after direct injections of Ad5 containing the synapsin-1(gfp)/WPRE construct into L4 DRG in vivo, while Ad5 CMV(gfp) transfected both DRG glia and neurons. Moreover, since the effective titres of delivered Ad5 are reduced with this neuron specific promoter/WPRE expression cassette, the viral immune challenge should be attenuated when used in vivo.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-417
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2008


  • CNS neurons, Woodchuck post-transcriptional regulatory element, Adenovirus, CNS injury, Synapsin-1 promoter