Genetic visualization of neurogenesis

Exp Cell Res. 2006 Sep 10;312(15):2851-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2006.05.012. Epub 2006 May 26.


Neurons are generated from stem or progenitor cells in discrete areas in the adult brain. The exact temporal and spatial distribution of adult neurogenesis has, however, been difficult to establish because of inherent limitations with the currently used techniques, and there are numerous controversies with regard to whether neurons are generated in specific regions or in response to insults. We describe here the generation of transgenic mice that express conditionally active Cre recombinase under the control of a nestin enhancer element. These mice allow the recombination of reporter alleles specifically in neural stem and progenitor cells and the visualization of their progeny in the adult brain. This offers a simple and efficient way to visualize live adult born neurons without the caveats of currently used techniques.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Integrases / genetics
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins / genetics
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Nestin
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Organogenesis / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism


  • Intermediate Filament Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nes protein, mouse
  • Nestin
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases