Here we describe the generation of the Nes-Cre1 transgenic mouse line in which Cre recombinase expression is controlled by the rat nestin promoter and intron 2 enhancer. This line has previously been used for conditional loss-of-function studies of various genes in the central nervous system and first branchial arch ectoderm. Here we report the detailed temporal and spatial recombination pattern of Nes-Cre1 using three different reporters of Cre-mediated recombination, ROSA26R (R26R), Z/AP, and Z/EG. Cre/loxP recombination was detected in embryos as early as the head-fold stage. By embryonic day (E)15.5 recombination occurred in virtually all cells of the nervous system and unexpectedly also in somite-derived tissues and kidneys. Tissues with little or no recombination included heart, liver, thymus, and lung. This study suggests that Nes-Cre1-mediated recombination occurs in progenitor cell types present in the neuroectoderm, the developing mesonephros, and the somites.
Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.