A transgenic mouse line that expresses Cre recombinase under control of the human thyroid peroxidase (TPO) gene promoter was established. The activity and specificity of the TPO-driven Cre recombinase were examined by using Northern blotting and by crossing with the ROSA26 reporter transgenic mouse line. In the latter mice, Cre-mediated recombination occurred only in the thyrocytes, and recombination commenced around embryonic day 14.5, at the time during thyroid organogenesis when TPO expression begins. This study demonstrates that the TPO-Cre transgenic mouse is a powerful tool to specifically delete loxP-inserted (floxed) genes in thyrocytes and will be of great value in the study of thyrocyte-specific genes during development and/or in adult thyroids.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.