We report here knock-in of diphteria toxin A chain (dta) gene at the Ins2 locus, using the strategy previously employed to insert lacZ under control of the Ins2 promoter. Mutant Ins2(dta/+), Ins2(dta/lacZ) or Ins2(lacZ/+) mouse pups were generated by breeding and analyzed to study the effects of toxigenetic beta-cell ablation on islet development and to localize the extrapancreatic Ins2 expression site in the brain. Ins2(dta/+) and Ins2(dta/lacZ) pups developed a severe diabetic ketoacidosis and died rapidly. Histological analysis of their pancreas revealed that beta-cells completely disappeared in their islets as evidenced by loss of lacZ activity or insulin immunonostaining. beta-cell ablation did not alter the size of other islet cell populations which were normal at birth, although the glucagon-cell population was reduced by 85% at embryonic day E12.5. In the brain, comparative analysis of lacZ expression in Ins2(lacZ/+) and Ins2(dta/laZ) mice identified the choroid plexus (CP) as a major Ins2 expression site. This finding was confirmed by RT-PCR analysis of insulin transcripts in RNAs prepared from microdissected wild-type CP. Transcripts for other key beta-cell markers, with the notable exception of Pdx-1, were also found in CP RNAs. These results must revive interest in studies focused on extrapancreatic insulin gene expression.