PublicationsAdenoviral vector-mediated gene transfer and neurotransplantation
Several studies have reported on the use of primary neural cells transduced by adenoviral vectors as donor cells in neurotransplantation. In the present investigation, we examined whether adenoviral vector-mediated gene transfer could be used to introduce and express a foreign gene in solid neural transplants of fetal suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) tissue. A recombinant adenoviral vector containing the reporter gene LacZ encoding for beta-galactosidase (Ad-LacZ) was used in order to establish the optimal procedure for ex vivo gene transfer. Expression of beta-galactosidase was dependent on the duration of the infection and on the vector concentration. Infection for a short period (< 4 h) with a high concentration of Ad-LacZ (3.4 x 10(9) pfu/ml), or for 18 h with a lower vector concentration (2 x 10(8) pfu/ml), resulted in expression of beta-galactosidase in a large number of neurons and glial cells up to 21 days in vitro. When infected fetal SCN tissue was implanted in the third ventricle of adult Wistar rats, expression was high after 8 days. After 21 days, the number of beta-galactosidase expressing cells had clearly declined, but expression remained present for at least 70 days. The method described in this paper might be applicable to introduce trophic factor genes in SCN grafts in order to support graft survival and to stimulate neurite outgrowth.