Tamoxifen feeding method is suitable for efficient conditional knockout

Exp Anim. 2021 Feb 6;70(1):91-100. doi: 10.1538/expanim.19-0138. Epub 2020 Oct 13.


The Cre-driver system is used to generate conditional knockout mice. Tamoxifen inducible Cre-driver mice can be used for spatiotemporal knockout by administration of the drug. A major tamoxifen administration is performed by intraperitoneal administration or oral administration. However, these forced administrations may be damaging to mice. Herein, we have demonstrated an improved method of administering tamoxifen with powdered food to mice. A mouse line expressing the tamoxifen-inducible Cre gene was used ubiquitously in this experiment to evaluate the efficiency of Cre recombination in the whole body. Our method also achieved efficient recombination without causing injury to mice. The X-gal staining intensity of the feeding method was equivalent to that of the intraperitoneal administration method. Furthermore, this method can be used for recombination before birth, or during the fetal period. We recommend researchers to employ this feeding method to administer tamoxifen to minimize the risk of injury to mice.

Keywords: Cre; conditional knockout; feeding method; tamoxifen.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Feeding Methods*
  • Gene Knockout Techniques / methods*
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Integrases / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout*
  • Powders
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Tamoxifen / administration & dosage*


  • Powders
  • Tamoxifen
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases