Gene Therapy
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September 2000, Volume 7, Number 17, Pages 1499-1504
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Viral transfer technology
Baculovirus-mediated periadventitial gene transfer to rabbit carotid artery
K J Airenne1, M O Hiltunen1,a, M P Turunen1,a, A-M Turunen1, O H Laitinen2, M S Kulomaa2 and S Ylä-Herttuala1,3

1AI Virtanen Institute, Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland

2Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

3Department of Medicine, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland

Correspondence to: S Ylä-Herttuala, AI Virtanen Institute, University of Kuopio, Department of Molecular Medicine, PO Box 1627, FIN-70210 Kuopio, Finland

aBoth authors contributed equally


Recombinant Autographa californica multiple nuclear polyhedrosis viruses (AcMNPV) have recently been shown to transduce mammalian cells in vitro. Since baculoviruses offer many advantages over viruses currently used in gene therapy, we have tested them for in vivo gene transfer by constructing a baculovirus bearing a nuclear targeted beta-galactosidase marker gene (LacZ) under a CMV promoter. Both rabbit aortic smooth muscle cells (RAASMC) and human ECV-304 cells were susceptible to LacZ-baculovirus transduction. Transgene expression was evaluated in vivo by applying 1 ´ 109 p.f.u. of LacZ-baculoviruses or LacZ-adenoviruses in a silastic collar placed around rabbit carotid arteries in the absence of contact with blood components. As a result, baculoviruses led to transgene expression in adventitial cells in rabbit carotid arteries with efficiency comparable to adenoviruses. The beta-galactosidase gene expression was transient staying at a high level for 1 week but disappearing at the 14 day time-point. The arterial structure and endothelium remained intact in the baculovirus-transduced arteries, but macrophage-specific immunostaining detected signs of inflammation comparable to adenoviruses. Baculoviruses are thus able to mediate transient gene transfer in vivo and may become useful tools for gene therapy. Gene Therapy (2000) 7, 1499-1504.


baculovirus; adenovirus; collar model; adventitia; gene therapy

Received 28 March 2000; accepted 22 June 2000
September 2000, Volume 7, Number 17, Pages 1499-1504
Table of contents    Previous  Abstract  Next   Full text  PDF