Lentiviral vector transduction of spermatozoa as a tool for the study of early development

Chandrashekran, A and Isa, I and Dudhia, J and Thrasher, A J and Dibb, N and Casimir, C and Readhead, C and Winston, R (2014) Lentiviral vector transduction of spermatozoa as a tool for the study of early development. FEBS Open Bio, 4. pp. 266-275.

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Abstract

Spermatozoa and lentiviruses are two of nature's most efficient gene delivery vehicles. Both can be genetically modified and used independently for the generation of transgenic animals or gene transfer/therapy of inherited disorders. Here we show that mature spermatozoa can be directly transduced with various pseudotyped lentiviral vectors and used in in vitro fertilisation studies. Lentiviral vectors encoding Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) were shown to be efficiently processed and expressed in sperm. When these transduced sperm were used in in vitro fertilisation studies, GFP expression was observed in arising blastocysts. This simple technique of directly transducing spermatozoa has potential to be a powerful tool for the study of early and pre‐implantation development and could be used as a technique in transgenic development and vertical viral transmission studies.