Assessment of the Na/I symporter as a reporter gene to visualize oncolytic adenovirus propagation in peritoneal tumours

  • Andrew Merron
  • Patrick Baril
  • Pilar Martin-Duque
  • Antonio de la Vieja
  • Lucile Tran
  • Arnaud Briat
  • Kevin J. Harrington
  • Iain A. McNeish
  • Georges VassauxEmail author
Original Article



In vivo imaging of the spread of oncolytic viruses using the Na/I symporter (NIS) has been proposed. Here, we assessed whether the presence of NIS in the viral genome affects the therapeutic efficacy of the oncolytic adenovirus dl922-947 following intraperitoneal administration, in a mouse model of peritoneal ovarian carcinoma.


We generated AdAM7, a dl922-947 oncolytic adenovirus encoding the NIS coding sequence. Iodide uptake, NIS expression, infectivity and cell-killing activity of AdAM7, as well as that of relevant controls, were determined in vitro. In vivo, the propagation of this virus in the peritoneal cavity of tumour-bearing mice was determined using SPECT/CT imaging and its therapeutic efficacy was evaluated.


In vitro infection of ovarian carcinoma IGROV-1 cells with ADAM7 led to functional expression of NIS. However, the insertion of NIS into the viral genome resulted in a loss of efficacy of the virus in terms of replication and cytotoxicity. In vivo, on SPECT/CT imaging AdAM7 was only detectable in the peritoneal cavity of animals bearing peritoneal ovarian tumours for up to 5 days after intraperitoneal administration. Therapeutic experiments in vivo demonstrated that AdAM7 is as potent as its NIS-negative counterpart.


This study demonstrated that despite the detrimental effect observed in vitro, insertion of the reporter gene NIS in an oncolytic adenovirus did not affect its therapeutic efficacy in vivo. We conclude that NIS is a highly relevant reporter gene to monitor the fate of oncolytic adenovectors in live subjects.


Molecular imaging Oncolytic adenovirus Na/I symporter SPECT/CT Gene therapy 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Jhiang for providing the human NIS cDNA. This work was supported by grants from Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, INSERM, la Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer, the “Paris scientifiques régionaux” scheme of the Région Pays de la Loire, and the French National Cancer Institute (INCa, grant 0607-3D1615-66/AO INSERM).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Merron
    • 1
  • Patrick Baril
    • 2
    • 3
  • Pilar Martin-Duque
    • 4
  • Antonio de la Vieja
    • 5
  • Lucile Tran
    • 2
    • 3
  • Arnaud Briat
    • 6
  • Kevin J. Harrington
    • 7
  • Iain A. McNeish
    • 1
  • Georges Vassaux
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Molecular Oncology, Institute of CancerQueen Mary’s School of Medicine and DentistryLondonUK
  2. 2.INSERM U948CHU Hôtel DieuNantes Cedex1France
  3. 3.Institut des Maladies de l’Appareil DigestifCHU de NantesNantesFrance
  4. 4.I+CS/ Araid FundInstituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la SaludZaragozaSpain
  5. 5.Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas “Alberto Sols” C/Arturo Duperier 4MadridSpain
  6. 6.INSERM U877GrenobleFrance
  7. 7.Institute of Cancer ResearchChester Beatty LaboratoriesLondonUK

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