Biodistribution of Adeno-Associated Virus Serotype 5 Viral Vectors following Intrathecal Injection

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The pharmacokinetic profile of AAV particles following intrathecal delivery has not yet been clearly defined. The present study evaluated the distribution profile of adeno-associated virus serotype 5 (AAV5) viral vectors following lumbar intrathecal injection in mice. After a single bolus intrathecal injection, viral DNA concentrations in mouse whole blood, spinal cord, and peripheral tissues were determined using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). The kinetics of AAV5 vector in whole blood and the concentration over time in spinal and peripheral tissues were analyzed. Distribution of the AAV5 vector to all levels of the spinal cord, dorsal root ganglia, and into systemic circulation occurred rapidly within 30 min following injection. Vector concentration in whole blood reached a maximum 6 h postinjection with a half-life of approximately 12 h. Area under the curve data revealed the highest concentration of vector distributed to dorsal root ganglia tissue. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed AAV5 particle colocalization with the pia mater at the spinal cord and macrophages in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) 30 min after injection. These results demonstrate the widespread distribution of AAV5 particles through cerebrospinal fluid and preferential targeting of DRG tissue with possible clearance mechanisms via DRG macrophages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3741-3749
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular pharmaceutics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 4 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by R01DA035931 (C.A.F.), NIDA training grant T32DA07234 (supporting K.R.P.), and NIDA training grant T32-DA007097 (supporting C.D.P.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.


  • AAV5 vector
  • gene therapy
  • lumbar intrathecal injection
  • mouse
  • pharmacokinetics
  • qPCR


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