Catecholaminergic neurons are affected in several neurological and psychiatric diseases. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is the first, rate-limiting enzyme in catecholamine synthesis. We report a knockin mouse expressing Cre-recombinase from the 3'-untranslated region of the endogenous Th gene by means of an internal ribosomal entry sequence (IRES). The resulting Cre expression matches the normal pattern of TH expression, while the pattern and level of TH are not altered in the knockin mouse. Crossings with two different LacZ reporter mice demonstrated Cre-mediated genomic recombination in TH expressing tissues. In addition, LacZ was found in some unexpected cell populations (including oocytes), indicating recombination due to transient developmental TH expression. Our novel knockin mouse can be used for generation of tissue-specific or general knockouts (depending on scheme of crossing) in mice carrying genes flanked by loxP sites. This knockin mouse can also be used for tracing cell lineages expressing TH during development.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.