A Robust and High-Throughput Cre Reporting and Characterization System for the Whole Mouse Brain

Nat Neurosci. 2010 Jan;13(1):133-40. doi: 10.1038/nn.2467. Epub 2009 Dec 20.

Abstract

The Cre/lox system is widely used in mice to achieve cell-type-specific gene expression. However, a strong and universally responding system to express genes under Cre control is still lacking. We have generated a set of Cre reporter mice with strong, ubiquitous expression of fluorescent proteins of different spectra. The robust native fluorescence of these reporters enables direct visualization of fine dendritic structures and axonal projections of the labeled neurons, which is useful in mapping neuronal circuitry, imaging and tracking specific cell populations in vivo. Using these reporters and a high-throughput in situ hybridization platform, we are systematically profiling Cre-directed gene expression throughout the mouse brain in several Cre-driver lines, including new Cre lines targeting different cell types in the cortex. Our expression data are displayed in a public online database to help researchers assess the utility of various Cre-driver lines for cell-type-specific genetic manipulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Dendrites / metabolism
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Integrases / genetics*
  • Integrases / physiology
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Tamoxifen / pharmacology
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism

Substances

  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • yellow fluorescent protein, Bacteria
  • Tamoxifen
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases