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Hum Gene Ther Methods. 2012 Aug;23(4):234-41. doi: 10.1089/hgtb.2012.105.

Comparison of adeno-associated virus serotypes and delivery methods for cardiac gene transfer.

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Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.


Cardiac gene transfer is a potentially useful strategy for cardiovascular diseases. The adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a common vector to obtain transgene expression in the heart. Initial studies conducted in rodents used indirect intracoronary delivery for cardiac gene transfer. More recently AAV vectors with so-called cardiac tropism have enabled significant cardiac transgene expression following intravenous injection. However, a direct comparison of intravenous versus intracoronary delivery with rigorous quantification of cardiac transgene expression has not been conducted. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that intracoronary AAV delivery would be superior to intravenous delivery vis-à-vis cardiac transgene expression. We compared intravenous and intracoronary delivery of AAV5, AAV6, and AAV9 (5×10(11) genome copies per mouse). Using enhanced green fluorescent protein as a reporter, we quantified transgene expression by fluorescence intensity and Western blotting. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was also performed to assess vector DNA copies, employing primers against common sequences on AAV5, AAV6, and AAV9. Intracoronary delivery resulted in 2.6- to 28-fold higher transgene protein expression in the heart 3 weeks after AAV injection compared to intravenous delivery depending on AAV serotype. The highest level of cardiac gene expression was achieved following intracoronary delivery of AAV9. Intracoronary delivery of AAV9 is a preferred method for cardiac gene transfer.

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