Conditional gene recombination by adenovirus-driven Cre in the mouse uterus

Genesis. 2006 Feb;44(2):51-6. doi: 10.1002/gene.20185.


Cre-mediated conditional gene targeting has been shown to be successful in many cell and tissue types. However, gene recombination in the uterus with heterogeneous cell types by Cre activation is not yet well established. Using recombinant adenoviruses expressing a functional Cre (ADV-Cre) and ROSA26 reporter mice, we show here that ADV-Cre infused intraluminally in a small volume (10 microl) conditionally excises the loxP site, resulting in lacZ expression in uterine luminal epithelial cells without significantly affecting pregnancy. In contrast, a similar intraluminal infusion of ADV-Cre in a larger volume (50 microl) damages the normal architecture and integrity of the luminal epithelium, inducing gene recombination in the underneath stromal cells, with disruption of pregnancy. Further, decidualizing stromal cells at the implantation sites can be targeted by ADV-Cre after intravenous administration on days 5-6. This route of administration also elicits Cre activity in other tissues, including the liver, spleen, ovary, and, more remarkably, in the adrenal cortex. These findings demonstrate the feasibility of achieving conditional expression or deletion of specific genes in uterine cells at desired times and physiological states.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Decidua / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Embryo Implantation
  • Female
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Integrases / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Recombination, Genetic / physiology*
  • Uterus / enzymology
  • Uterus / metabolism*


  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases