Brain expression of Cre recombinase driven by pancreas-specific promoters

Genesis. 2010 Nov;48(11):628-34. doi: 10.1002/dvg.20672. Epub 2010 Oct 19.


Cre-loxP technology enables specific examination of the function and development of individual nuclei in the complex brain network. However, for most brain regions, the utilization of this technique has been hindered by the lack of mouse lines with Cre expression restricted to these regions. Here, we identified brain expressions of three transgenic Cre lines previously thought to be pancreas-specific. Cre expression driven by the rat-insulin promoter (Rip-Cre) was found mainly in the arcuate nucleus, and to a lesser degree in other hypothalamic regions. Cre expression driven by the neurogenin 3 promoter (Ngn3-Cre mice) was found in the ventromedial hypothalamus. Cre expression driven by the pancreas-duodenum homeobox 1 promoter (Pdx1-Cre) was found in several hypothalamic nuclei, the dorsal raphe and inferior olivary nuclei. Interestingly, Pdx1-Cre mediated deletion of vesicular GABA transporter led to postnatal growth retardation while Ngn3-Cre mediated deletion had no effects, suggesting a role for Pdx1-Cre neurons, but not pancreas, in the regulation of postnatal growth. These results demonstrate the potential for these Cre lines to study the function and development of brain neurons.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Integrases / genetics*
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Organ Specificity / genetics
  • Pancreas / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Transgenes / genetics


  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases