Assessment of the effects of virus-mediated limited Oct4 overexpression on the structure of the hippocampus and behavior in mice.

Recently, pluripotency induction or cellular reprogramming by introducing critical transcription factors has been extensively studied, but has been demonstrated only in vitro. Based on reports that Oct4 is critically involved in transforming neural stem cells into pluripotent cells, we used the lentiviral vector to introduce the Oct4 gene into the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) of adult mice. We examined whether this manipulation led to cellular or behavioral changes, possibly through processes involving the transformation of NS cells into pluripotent cells. The Oct4 lentivirus-infused group and the green fluorescent protein lentivirus-infused group showed a similar thickness of the DG and a comparable level of synaptophysin expression in the DG. Furthermore, our behavioral analyses did not show any differences between the groups concerning exploratory activity, anxiety, or memory abilities. This first trial for pluripotency induction in vivo, despite negative results, provides implications and information for future studies on in vivo cellular reprogramming.