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Spinal nociceptive circuit analysis with recombinant adeno-associated viruses: the impact of serotypes and promoters


Haenraets, Karen; Foster, Edmund; Johannssen, Helge; Kandra, Vinnie; Frezel, Noémie; Steffen, Timothy; Jaramillo, Valeria; Paterna, Jean-Charles; Zeilhofer, Hanns Ulrich; Wildner, Hendrik (2017). Spinal nociceptive circuit analysis with recombinant adeno-associated viruses: the impact of serotypes and promoters. Journal of Neurochemistry, 142(5):721-733.

Abstract

Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vector-mediated gene transfer into genetically defined neuron subtypes has become a powerful tool to study the neuroanatomy of neuronal circuits in the brain and to unravel their functions. More recently, this methodology has also become popular for the analysis of spinal cord circuits. To date, a variety of naturally occurring AAV serotypes and genetically modified capsid variants are available but transduction efficiency in spinal neurons, target selectivity, and the ability for retrograde tracing are only incompletely characterized. Here, we have compared the transduction efficiency of seven commonly used AAV serotypes after intraspinal injection. We specifically analyzed local transduction of different types of dorsal horn neurons, and retrograde transduction of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons and of neurons in the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) and the somatosensory cortex (S1). Our results show that most of the tested rAAV vectors have similar transduction efficiency in spinal neurons. All serotypes analyzed were also able to transduce DRG neurons and descending RVM and S1 neurons via their spinal axon terminals. When comparing the commonly used rAAV serotypes to the recently developed serotype 2 capsid variant rAAV2retro, a > 20-fold increase in transduction efficiency of descending supraspinal neurons was observed. Conversely, transgene expression in retrogradely transduced neurons was strongly reduced when the human synapsin 1 (hSyn1) promoter was used instead of the strong ubiquitous hybrid cytomegalovirus enhancer/chicken β-actin promoter (CAG) or cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter fragments. We conclude that the use of AAV2retro greatly increases transduction of neurons connected to the spinal cord via their axon terminals, while the hSyn1 promoter can be used to minimize transgene expression in retrogradely connected neurons of the DRG or brainstem. Cover Image for this issue: doi. 10.1111/jnc.13813.

Abstract

Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vector-mediated gene transfer into genetically defined neuron subtypes has become a powerful tool to study the neuroanatomy of neuronal circuits in the brain and to unravel their functions. More recently, this methodology has also become popular for the analysis of spinal cord circuits. To date, a variety of naturally occurring AAV serotypes and genetically modified capsid variants are available but transduction efficiency in spinal neurons, target selectivity, and the ability for retrograde tracing are only incompletely characterized. Here, we have compared the transduction efficiency of seven commonly used AAV serotypes after intraspinal injection. We specifically analyzed local transduction of different types of dorsal horn neurons, and retrograde transduction of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons and of neurons in the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) and the somatosensory cortex (S1). Our results show that most of the tested rAAV vectors have similar transduction efficiency in spinal neurons. All serotypes analyzed were also able to transduce DRG neurons and descending RVM and S1 neurons via their spinal axon terminals. When comparing the commonly used rAAV serotypes to the recently developed serotype 2 capsid variant rAAV2retro, a > 20-fold increase in transduction efficiency of descending supraspinal neurons was observed. Conversely, transgene expression in retrogradely transduced neurons was strongly reduced when the human synapsin 1 (hSyn1) promoter was used instead of the strong ubiquitous hybrid cytomegalovirus enhancer/chicken β-actin promoter (CAG) or cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter fragments. We conclude that the use of AAV2retro greatly increases transduction of neurons connected to the spinal cord via their axon terminals, while the hSyn1 promoter can be used to minimize transgene expression in retrogradely connected neurons of the DRG or brainstem. Cover Image for this issue: doi. 10.1111/jnc.13813.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:dorsal horn; rAAV-mediated gene transfer; sensory circuits; spinal cord
Language:English
Date:September 2017
Deposited On:25 Sep 2017 14:02
Last Modified:25 Sep 2017 14:02
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0022-3042
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/jnc.14124
PubMed ID:28700081

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