Rabies Virus Pseudotyped with CVS-N2C Glycoprotein as a Powerful Tool for Retrograde Neuronal Network Tracing.Neurosci Bull 2019NB
Efficient viral vectors for mapping and manipulating long-projection neuronal circuits are crucial in structural and functional studies of the brain. The SAD strain rabies virus with the glycoprotein gene deleted pseudotyped with the N2C glycoprotein (SAD-RV(ΔG)-N2C(G)) shows strong neuro-tropism in cell culture, but its in vivo efficiency for retrograde gene transduction and neuro-tropism have not been systematically characterized. We compared these features in different mouse brain regions for SAD-RV-N2C(G) and two other widely-used retrograde tracers, SAD-RV(ΔG)-B19(G) and rAAV2-retro. We found that SAD-RV(ΔG)-N2C(G) enhanced the infection efficiency of long-projecting neurons by ~10 times but with very similar neuro-tropism, compared with SAD-RV(ΔG)-B19(G). On the other hand, SAD-RV(ΔG)-N2C(G) had an infection efficiency comparable with rAAV2-retro, but a more restricted diffusion range, and broader tropism to different types and regions of long-projecting neuronal populations. These results demonstrate that SAD-RV(ΔG)-N2C(G) can serve as an effective retrograde vector for studying neuronal circuits.