Exclusive labeling of direct and indirect pathway neurons in the mouse neostriatum by an adeno-associated virus vector with Cre/lox system

STAR Protoc. 2020 Dec 18;2(1):100230. doi: 10.1016/j.xpro.2020.100230. eCollection 2021 Mar 19.


We developed an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-based technique to label mouse neostriatal neurons comprising direct and indirect pathways with different fluorescent proteins and analyze their axonal projections. The AAV vector expresses GFP or RFP in the presence or absence of Cre recombinase and should be useful for labeling two cell populations exclusively dependent on its expression. Here, we describe the AAV vector design, stereotaxic injection of the AAV vector, and a highly sensitive immunoperoxidase method for axon visualization. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Okamoto et al. (2020).

Keywords: Gene Expression; Microscopy; Neuroscience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dependovirus*
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Integrases / biosynthesis
  • Integrases / genetics
  • Mice
  • Neostriatum / cytology
  • Neostriatum / metabolism*
  • Neural Pathways / cytology
  • Neural Pathways / metabolism*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Transduction, Genetic*


  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases