We have used a Prx1 limb enhancer to drive expression of Cre Recombinase in transgenic mice. This regulatory element leads to Cre expression throughout the early limb bud mesenchyme and in a subset of craniofacial mesenchyme. Crossing a murine line carrying this transgene to a reporter mouse harboring a floxed Cre-reporter cassette revealed that recombinase activity is first observed in the earliest limb bud at 9.5 dpc. By early to mid bud stages at 10.5 dpc recombination is essentially complete in all mesenchymal cells in the limb. Expression of the Cre recombinase was never detected in the limb bud ectoderm. The use of Prx1-Cre mice should facilitate analysis of gene function in the developing limb.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.