OBJECTIVES: Viral vector uptake into the pancreas is rare. The few viral vectors reported to transduce in vivo pancreatic islets after systemic injection required additional physical measures, such as direct pancreatic injection or hepatic vessel clamping. Because pancreatic islet uptake of the human polyomavirus family member BK virus was previously reported in hamsters after systemic administration, we hypothesized that SV40, a polyomavirus member remarkably similar to BK virus, may also infect the pancreas. METHODS: We injected intravenously a low dose of SV40, unaided by any other physical or chemical means, and evaluated viral uptake by pancreatic islets and pancreatic exocrine tissue via polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, electron microscopy, immunofluorescent microscopy, and protein A-gold immunocytochemistry. RESULTS: Pancreatic uptake of SV40 was comparable to other major organs (ie, liver and spleen). SV40 viral particles were detected in both pancreatic islets and acini. In pancreatic islets, all islet cell types were infected by SV40, albeit the infection rate of glucagon-producing α cells surpassed β- and δ-islet cells. Low-dose SV40 administration was not sufficient to induce heterologous gene expression in the pancreas. CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that pancreatic islet and acinar cell uptake of SV40 is feasible with a single, low-dose intravenous injection. However, this dose did not result in gene delivery into the murine pancreas.
- Gene therapy
- Islets of Langerhans
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism