Lentiviral Vectors: A Powerful Tool to Target Astrocytes In Vivo

Author(s): Delzor Aurélie, Escartin Carole, Déglon Nicole

Journal Name: Current Drug Targets

Volume 14 , Issue 11 , 2013

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The morphological and functional diversity of astrocytes, and their essential contribution in physiological and pathological conditions, are starting to emerge. However, experimental systems to investigate neuron-glia interactions and develop innovative approaches for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders are still very limited. Fluorescent reporter genes have been used to visualize populations of astrocytes and produce an atlas of gene expression in the brain. Knock-down or knock-out of astrocytic proteins using transgenesis have also been developed, but these techniques remain complex and time-consuming. Viral vectors have been developed to overexpress or silence genes of interest as they can be used for both in vitro and in vivo studies in adult mammalian species. In most cases, high transduction efficiency and long-term transgene expression are observed in neurons but there is limited expression in astrocytes. Several strategies have been developed to shift the tropism of lentiviral vectors (LV) and allow local and controlled gene expression in glial cells. In this review, we describe how modifications of the interaction between the LV envelope glycoprotein and the surface receptor molecules on target cells, or the integration of cell-specific promoters and miRNA post-transcriptional regulatory elements have been used to selectively express transgenes in astrocytes.

Keywords: Astrocytes, detargeting, gene transfer, lentiviral vector, miRNA, targeting.

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Article Details

Year: 2013
Published on: 10 September, 2013
Page: [1336 - 1346]
Pages: 11
DOI: 10.2174/13894501113146660213
Price: $65

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