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Brain Res. 2006 Apr 12;1082(1):11-22. Epub 2006 Mar 6.

In vivo transduction of murine cerebellar Purkinje cells by HIV-derived lentiviral vectors.

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  • 1Innovative Brain Science Project, Advanced Science Research Center, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa 920-8640, Japan.


Cerebellar Purkinje cells are key elements in motor learning and motor coordination, and therefore, it is important to clarify the mechanisms by which Purkinje cells integrate information and control cerebellar function. Gene transfer into neurons, followed by the assessment of the effects on neural function, is an effective approach for examining gene function. However, this method has not been used fully in the study of the cerebellum because adenovirus vectors, the vectors most commonly used for in vivo gene transfer, have very low affinity for Purkinje cells. In this study, we used a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-derived lentiviral vector and examined the transduction profile of the vector in the cerebellum. A lentiviral vector carrying the GFP gene was injected into the cerebellar cortex. Seven days after the injection, Purkinje cells were efficiently transduced without significant influence on the cell viability and synaptic functions. GFP was also expressed, though less efficiently, in other cortical interneurons and Bergmann glias. In contrast to reported findings with other viral vectors, no transduced cells were observed outside of the cerebellar cortex. Thus, when HIV-derived lentiviral vectors were injected into the cerebellar cortex, transduction was limited to the cells in the cerebellar cortex, with the highest tropism for Purkinje cells. These results suggest that HIV-derived lentiviral vectors are useful for the study of gene function in Purkinje cells as well as for application as a gene therapy tool for the treatment of diseases that affect Purkinje cells.

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