Many regenerative cells are label-retaining cells (LRCs) due to their ability to keep a DNA label over a prolonged time. Until recently, isolation of vital LRCs was hampered due to the necessary use of fixation methods. To circumvent this, we generated a lentiviral-(HIV-1) based vector expressing a Tet-Off controlled histone 2B-GFP (Tet-Off-H2B-GFP) reporter gene for the detection and isolation of viable LRCs. In initial experiments, the vector was successfully used to infect 2- and 3-dimensional tissue culture models. Infected cultures from skin and pancreatic cells showed a very tight regulation of H2B-GFP, were sensitive to minimal amounts of doxycycline (Dox) and had a stable transgenic expression over the time of this study. Our lentiviral vector represents a reliable and easy to handle system for the successful infection, detection and isolation of LRCs from various tissues in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo.