Defects in tendon patterning and differentiation are seldom assessed in mouse mutants due to the difficulty in visualizing connective tissue structures. To facilitate tendon analysis, we have generated mouse lines harboring two different transgene reporters, alkaline phosphatase (AP) and green fluorescent protein (GFP), each expressed using regulatory elements derived from the endogenous Scleraxis (Scx) locus. Scx encodes a transcription factor expressed in all developing tendons and ligaments as well as in their progenitors. Both the ScxGFP and ScxAP transgenes are expressed in patterns recapitulating almost entirely the endogenous developmental expression of Scx including very robust expression in the tendons and ligaments. These reporter lines will facilitate isolation of tendon cells and phenotypic analysis of these tissues in a variety of genetic backgrounds.
Copyright 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.