Excitatory glutamatergic neurons are part of most of the neuronal circuits in the mammalian nervous system. We have used BAC-technology to generate a BAC-Vglut2::Cre mouse line where Cre expression is driven by the vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (Vglut2) promotor. This BAC-Vglut2::Cre mouse line showed specific expression of Cre in Vglut2 positive cells in the spinal cord with no ectopic expression in GABAergic or glycinergic neurons. This mouse line also showed specific Cre expression in Vglut2 positive structures in the brain such as thalamus, hypothalamus, superior colliculi, inferior colliculi and deep cerebellar nuclei together with nuclei in the midbrain and hindbrain. Cre-mediated recombination was restricted to Cre expressing cells in the spinal cord and brain and occurred as early as E 12.5. Known Vglut2 positive neurons showed normal electrophysiological properties in the BAC-Vglut2::Cre transgenic mice. Altogether, this BAC-Vglut2::Cre mouse line provides a valuable tool for molecular genetic analysis of excitatory neuronal populations throughout the mouse nervous system.
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