Adenoviral vectors effectively transfer genes to rat salivary glands. However, potent immune responses limit their use in vivo. Mice offer more opportunities than rats for the study of these immune processes. We first established conditions for infection of mouse salivary glands, with an adenoviral vector. The effects of time, viral dose, viral diluent buffer volume, and dexamethasone on expression of a transgene, luciferase, were determined by means of the recombinant vector AdCMVluc. Optimal luciferase expression was observed when the vector was suspended in 50 μL of buffer. This volume completely filled the gland parenchyma and slightly distended the capsule. Dexamethasone increased immediate transgene expression and reduced the acute inflammation one day following viral administration, but did not alter subsequent mononuclear inflammation or transgene expression 14 or 28 days later. An adenoviral vector encoding either anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-4 or IL-10 was co-administered with AdCMVluc to increase transgene expression at 14 and 28 days. While this strategy did not extend the duration of luciferase expression, co-administration of AdCMVIL-10 with AdCMVluc almost completely eliminated the chronic inflammatory infiltrate in the glands after 28 days. This study demonstrates that adenoviral-mediated gene transfer to mouse submandibular glands is possible by intraductal cannulation and that reduction of either the acute or chronic inflammatory infiltrates was insufficient to increase long-term transgene expression in this tissue.
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