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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2012 Jun;12(6):757-66. doi: 10.1517/14712598.2012.681463. Epub 2012 Apr 20.

The advent of AAV9 expands applications for brain and spinal cord gene delivery.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, 1501 Kings Hwy, Shreveport, LA 71130, USA.



Straightforward studies compared adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotypes to determine the most appropriate one for robust expression in the CNS. AAV9 was efficient when directly injected into the brain, but more surprisingly, AAV9 produced global expression in the brain and spinal cord after a peripheral, systemic route of administration to neonatal mice.


Topics include AAV9 gene delivery from intraparenchymal, intravenous, intrathecal and intrauterine routes of administration, and related preclinical studies and disease models. Systemic AAV9 gene transfer yields remarkably consistent neuronal expression, though only in early development. AAV9 is versatile to study neuropathological proteins: microtubule-associated protein tau and transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43).


AAV9 will be more widely used based on current data, although other natural serotypes and recombineered vectors may also support or improve upon wide-scale expression. A peripheral-to-central gene delivery that can affect the entire CNS without having to inject the CNS is promising for basic functional experiments, and potentially for gene therapy. Systemic or intra-cerebrospinal fluid routes of AAV9 administration should be considered for spinal muscular atrophy, lysosomal storage diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, if more neuronal expression can be achieved in adults, or if glial expression can be exploited.

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