Conditional gene knockouts are a very powerful tool for elucidating gene function in animal physiology and behavior. To obtain cell-specific knockouts, a promoter is utilized that drives expression of Cre recombinase specifically to the cell population of interest. We describe several transgenic lines of mice that were created in an attempt to obtain astrocyte-specific gene recombination. A 2 kb fragment from the human glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter is utilized to drive expression of inducible Cre recombinase, with both the Tet-Off and tamoxifen responsive systems. We show data obtained from crosses with two Cre reporter lines, ROSA26R and an astrocyte Cre reporter created in our laboratory, to assess the cell specificity of gene recombination. Additionally, our system is shown to successfully recombine a floxed Connexin43 locus, although recombination is not as extensive as seen in crosses with reporter lines.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.