SCREENING AAV SEROTYPES FOR TRANSDUCTION EFFICIENCY IN THE VISUAL SYSTEM OF THE CAT
The abundance and versatility of genetic tools enabled dissection of the mouse nervous system during the last decade. In our quest for understanding human vision, studying the visual system of the mouse can provide insights with limited generalizability to human vision. Fundamental aspects of human vision need to be modeled in high-visual-acuity species, carnivores and primates, however genetic access to neuronal circuits have been lacking in these species. Our aim is to establish a robust, genetically-targeted optical circuit access framework in the visual system of a non-rodent, high-visual-acuity model, the cat using adeno-associated virus (AAV) mediated gene delivery. As a first step, we are screening AAV serotypes carrying fluorescent protein-coding DNA sequences. We injected five different AAV serotypes into different areas of the cat visual system and evaluated the efficiency of transducing the gene of interest into neurons. We also evaluated how incubation time relates to transduction efficiency. We present histological analysis of the infection pattern of different AAV constructs in different visual areas of the cat. We found that all tested AAV serotypes can be used to label neuronal populations in different visual areas.