神経解剖学におけるウイルスベクターの利用

Viral Vectors in the Field of Neuroanatomy

日置寛之、古田貴弘、金子武嗣

 

Viral vectors have aroused interest in neuroscience, since they can be directly delivered to specific brain regions by local injections, and applied to mammalian species other than mice. In this symposium, I will focus on the applications of Sindbis virus and lentivirus for neuroanatomy.

Sindbis virus achieves strong gene expression in the infected cells. We generated a new recombinant virus which expresses GFP tagged with a palmitoylation signal (palGFP). This virus intensely labels whole structures of the infected neurons, and thus can be used as an excellent tracer. Using the virus, we have analyzed precise morphology of neurons in the rat forebrain.

Lentivirus offers the unique advantage of integrating transgene into the genome of the infected cells, and therefore, is appropriate for experiments requiring for long-term expression. Since the transcriptional activity is relatively weak compared with other viral vectors, we firstly generated new hybrid promoters to enhance the activities. Then, we developed dendritic membrane-targeted GFP, and succeeded in complete labeling of neuronal processes. We expect that these new genetic tools will be helpful in the field of neuroanatomy.

 

(1197/1200)