This review summarizes recent data on the use of HSV-1 – based amplicon vectors for in vivo gene delivery to the brains of rats and mice to study and modify behaviour. Here we describe studies that have focused on cognitive functions like learning and memory. In addition, the use of amplicons in other behavioural studies, like addiction, social interaction, anxiety and stress, will be briefly updated. Several remarkable findings have been achieved, thanks to the use of these very efficient and non-toxic naturally neurotropic vectors, most particularly the consistent observation that genetic manipulation of a rather limited number of neurons in restricted regions of the brain, could result in significant behavioural changes, a notion that is therefore emerging as a common unifying hypothesis, thanks to these works.
Keywords: HSV-1 vectors, Addiction, ventral tegmental area (VTA), cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), NMDAR-mediated synaptic plasticity, memory
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