We investigated the feasibility of gene transfer into the mouse central nervous system (CNS) by applying nanosecond pulsed laser-induced stress waves (LISWs). Intraventricular or hippocampal injection of a reporter gene [enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)] followed by application of LISWs showed this method to be efficient in the CNS of newborn and adult mice. Cells expressing EGFP reside at least from the surface of the tissue, while no apparent damage was detected. Additionally, expression of EGFP was limited to the area that was exposed to LISWs. Using this method, the formulation of plasmid DNA by cationic transfer reagent polyethylenimine proved to be effective for improving transfer efficiency into the CNS.