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Non-invasive somatotransgenic bioimaging in living animals [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]

Delhove, JM; Karda, R; FitzPatrick, LM; Buckley, SMK; Waddington, SN; McKay, TR; (2020) Non-invasive somatotransgenic bioimaging in living animals [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]. F1000Research , 9 , Article 1216. 10.12688/f1000research.25274.1. Green open access

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Abstract

Bioluminescence imaging enables noninvasive quantification of luciferase reporter gene expression in transgenic tissues of living rodents. Luciferase transgene expression can be regulated by endogenous gene promoters after targeted knock-in of the reporter gene, usually within the first intron of the gene. Even using CRISPR/Cas9 mediated genome editing this can be a time consuming and costly process. The generation of germline transgenic (GLT) rodents by targeted genomic integration of a gene expression cassette in embryonic stem (ES) cells is commonplace but results in the wastage of large numbers of animals during colony generation, back-crossing and maintenance. Using a synthetic/truncated promoter-driven luciferase gene to study promoter activity in a given tissue or organ of a GLT also often results in unwanted background luciferase activity during whole-body bioluminescent imaging as every cell contains the reporter. We have developed somatotransgenic bioimaging; a method to generate tissue-restricted transcription factor activated luciferase reporter (TFAR) cassettes in rodents that substantially reduces the number of animals required for experimentation. Bespoke designed TFARs are delivered to newborn pups using viral vectors targeted to specific organs by tissue-tropic pseudotypes. Retention and proliferation of TFARs is facilitated by stem/progenitor cell transduction and immune tolerance to luciferase due to the naïve neonatal immune system. We have successfully applied both lentiviral and adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors in longitudinal rodent studies, targeting TFARs to the liver and brain during normal development and in well-established disease models. Development of somatotransgenic animals has broad applicability to non-invasively determine mechanistic insights into homeostatic and disease states and assess toxicology and efficacy testing. Somatotransgenic bioimaging technology is superior to current whole-body, light-emitting transgenic models as it reduces the numbers of animals used by generating only the required number of animals. It is also a refinement over current technologies given the ability to use conscious, unrestrained animals.

Type: Article
Title: Non-invasive somatotransgenic bioimaging in living animals [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.25274.1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.25274.1
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2020 Delhove JM et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: somatotransgenic, luciferase, germline transgenic, biosensor, lentivirus, AAV
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Maternal and Fetal Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10112233
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