Recombinant adeno-associated viruses (AAV) are frequently used to make localized genetic manipulations within the rodent brain. It is accepted that the different viral serotypes possess differing affinities for particular cell types, but it is not clear how these properties affect their ability to transduce specific neuronal cell sub-types. Here, we examined ten AAV serotypes for their ability to transduce neurons within the rat basal and lateral nuclei of the amygdala (BLA) and the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA). AAV2 based viral genomes designed to express either green fluorescent protein (GFP) from a glutamate decarboxylase (GAD65) promoter or the far-red fluorescent protein (E2-Crimson) from a phosphate-activated glutaminase (PAG) promoter were created and pseudotyped as AAV2/1, AAV2/4, AAV2/5, AAV2/6, AAV2/7, AAV 2/8, AAV2/9, AAV2/rh10, AAV2/DJ and AAV2/DJ8. These viruses were infused into the BLA and CeA at equal titers and twenty-one days later tissue within the amygdala was examined for viral transduction efficiency. These serotypes transduced neurons with similar efficiency, except for AAV4 and AAV5, which exhibited significantly less efficient neuronal transduction. Notably, AAV4 and AAV5 possess the most divergent capsid protein sequences compared to the other commonly available serotypes. We found that the Gad65-GFP virus did not exclusively express GFP within inhibitory neurons, as assessed by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), but when this virus was used to transduce CeA neurons, the majority of the neurons that expressed GFP were in fact inhibitory neurons and this was likely due to the fact that this nucleus contains a very high percentage of inhibitory neurons.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology