GABAergic neuron-specific whole-brain transduction by AAV-PHP.B incorporated with a new GAD65 promoter

Chiaki Hoshino, Ayumu Konno, Nobutake Hosoi, Ryosuke Kaneko, Ryo Mukai, Junichi Nakai, Hirokazu Hirai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


GABAergic interneurons play a critical role in tuning neural networks in the central nervous system, and their defects are associated with neuropsychiatric disorders. Currently, the mDlx enhancer is solely used for adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-mediated transgene delivery into cortical interneurons. Here, we developed a new inhibitory neuron-specific promoter (designated as the mGAD65 promoter), with a length of 2.5 kb, from a mouse genome upstream of exon 1 of the Gad2 gene encoding glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) 65. Intravenous infusion of blood–brain barrier-penetrating AAV-PHP.B expressing an enhanced green fluorescent protein under the control of the mGAD65 promoter transduced the whole brain in an inhibitory neuron-specific manner. The specificity and efficiency of the mGAD65 promoter for GABAergic interneurons, which was assessed at the motor cortex, were almost identical to or slightly higher than those of the mDlx enhancer. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the mGAD65 promoter preferentially transduced parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons. Notably, the mGAD65 promoter transduced chandelier cells more efficiently than the mDlx enhancer and robustly labeled their synaptic boutons, called the cartridge, targeting the axon initial segments of excitatory pyramidal neurons. To test the ability of the mGAD65 promoter to express a functional molecule, we virally expressed G-CaMP, a fluorescent Ca2+ indicator, in the motor cortex, and this enabled us to monitor spontaneous and drug-induced Ca2+ activity in GABAergic inhibitory neurons. These results suggest that the mGAD65 promoter is useful for AAV-mediated targeting and manipulation of GABAergic neurons with the dominance of cortical PV-expressing neurons, including chandelier cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
JournalMolecular brain
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec


  • AAV
  • Chandelier cell
  • Dlx
  • GABA
  • GAD65
  • Inhibitory neuron
  • Interneuron
  • Promoter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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