We describe the generation of transgenic mouse lines expressing the Cre recombinase enzyme in brain under control of the CamKIIalpha gene present in a BAC expression vector. The CamKIIalpha BAC transgene gave a faithful expression pattern resembling the pattern of the endogenous CamKIIalpha gene. Specifically, high levels of CamKIIalpha Cre were detected in hippocampus, cortex, and amygdala, and lower levels were detected in striatum, thalamus, and hypothalamus. As expected, no expression was detected in the cerebellum or outside of the brain. The expression level of the BAC CamKIIalpha driven Cre was shown to be copy number dependent. To test the activity of the Cre recombinase, the transgenic mice were crossed with mice harbouring the CREB (cAMP response element binding protein) allele with the 10th exon flanked by two loxP sites, and recombination was monitored by the disappearance of the CREB protein. Finally, evaluation of the developmental postnatal expression of the CamKIIalpha Cre BAC revealed the expression of the Cre recombinase as early as P3.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.