Brain-wide distribution of reporter expression in five transgenic tetracycline-transactivator mouse lines

Sci Data. 2019 Feb 26:6:190028. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2019.28.


The spatial pattern of transgene expression in tetracycline-controlled mouse models is governed primarily by the driver line used to introduce the tetracycline-controlled transactivator (tTA). Detailed maps showing where each tTA driver activates expression are therefore essential for designing and using tet-regulated models, particularly in brain research where cell type and regional specificity determine the circuits affected by conditional gene expression. We have compiled a comprehensive online repository of serial microscopic images showing brain-wide reporter expression for five commonly used tTA driver lines. We have spatially registered all images to a common three-dimensional mouse brain anatomical reference atlas for direct comparison of spatial distribution across lines. The high-resolution images and associated metadata are shared via the web page of the EU Human Brain Project. Images can be inspected using an interactive viewing tool that includes an optional overlay feature providing anatomical delineations and reference atlas coordinates. Interactive viewing is supplemented by semi-quantitative analyses of expression levels within anatomical subregions for each tTA driver line.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation* / physiology
  • Genes, Reporter*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic* / anatomy & histology
  • Mice, Transgenic* / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Tetracycline
  • Trans-Activators / physiology


  • Trans-Activators
  • Tetracycline