Introduction of foreign genes into tissues of living mice by DNA-coated microprojectiles

R. Sanders Williams, Stephen A. Johnston, Mark Riedy, Michael J. Devit, Sandra G. McElligott, John C. Sanford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

375 Scopus citations


Foreign genes were expressed in liver and skin cells of live mice by using a new apparatus to accelerate DNA-coated microprojectiles into tissues. After introduction of a plasmid in which the firefly luciferase gene was controlled by the human β-actin promoter, luciferase activity was detectable for up to 14 days in mouse tissues (skin and liver). In situ hybridization histochemistry revealed that microprojectiles penetrated through multiple cell layers without evidence of tissue injury and that 10-20% of the cells in the bombarded area expressed the foreign gene. An advantage of the new design is that internal organs, such as liver, can be transfected without subjecting the tissue to a vacuum. This procedure potentially is applicable to a wide variety of tissues and cell types for studies of transcriptional control elements and for expression of foreign proteins in intact animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2726-2730
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • "Biolistic"
  • Gene transfer
  • Microprojectile bombardment
  • Transfection, animal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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