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Considerations related to the use of short neuropeptide promoters in viral vectors targeting hypothalamic neurons

Journal article
Authors N. Kakava-Georgiadou
C. Bullich-Vilarrubias
M. M. Zwartkruis
M. C. M. Luijendijk
K. M. Garner
Roger A. H. Adan
Published in Scientific Reports
Volume 9
ISSN 2045-2322
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Language en
Keywords gene, expression, mouse, Science & Technology - Other Topics
Subject categories Neurosciences


Targeting specific neuronal cell types is a major challenge for unraveling their function and utilizing specific cells for gene therapy strategies. Viral vector tools are widely used to target specific cells or circuits for these purposes. Here, we use viral vectors with short promoters of neuropeptide genes to target distinct neuronal populations in the hypothalamus of rats and mice. We show that lowering the amount of genomic copies is effective in increasing specificity of a melanin-concentrating hormone promoter. However, since too low titers reduce transduction efficacy, there is an optimal titer for achieving high specificity and sufficient efficacy. Other previously identified neuropeptide promoters as those for oxytocin and orexin require further sequence optimization to increase target specificity. We conclude that promoter-driven viral vectors should be used with caution in order to target cells specifically.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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