Phox2b is a transcription factor expressed in the central and peripheral neurons that control cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive functions and essential for their development. Several populations known or suspected to regulate visceral functions express Phox2b in the developing hindbrain. Extensive cell migration and lack of suitable markers have greatly hampered studying their development. Reasoning that intersectional fate mapping may help to overcome these impediments, we have generated a BAC transgenic mouse line, P2b::FLPo, which expresses codon-optimized FLP recombinase in Phox2b expressing cells. By partnering the P2b::FLPo with the FLP-responsive RC::Fela allele, we show that FLP recombination switches on lineage tracers in the cells that express or have expressed Phox2b, permanently marking them for study across development. Taking advantage of the dual-recombinase feature of RC::Fela, we further show that the P2b::FLPo transgene can be partnered with Lbx1(Cre) as Cre driver to generate triple transgenics in which neurons having a history of both Phox2b and Lbx1 expression are specifically labeled. Hence, the P2b::FLPo line when partnered with a suitable Cre driver provides a tool for tracking and accessing genetically subsets of Phox2b-expressing neuronal populations, which has not been possible by Cre-mediated recombination alone.
Keywords: BAC transgenic mouse line; FLP recombinase; Phox2b; fate mapping; hindbrain.
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