Generation and Characterization of a Transgenic Mouse That Specifically Expresses the Cre Recombinase in Spermatids

Genes (Basel). 2023 Apr 27;14(5):983. doi: 10.3390/genes14050983.


Spermiogenesis is the step during which post-meiotic cells, called spermatids, undergo numerous morphological changes and differentiate into spermatozoa. Thousands of genes have been described to be expressed at this stage and could contribute to spermatid differentiation. Genetically-engineered mouse models using Cre/LoxP or CrispR/Cas9 are the favored approaches to characterize gene function and better understand the genetic basis of male infertility. In the present study, we produced a new spermatid-specific Cre transgenic mouse line, in which the improved iCre recombinase is expressed under the control of the acrosomal vesicle protein 1 gene promoter (Acrv1-iCre). We show that Cre protein expression is restricted to the testis and only detected in round spermatids of stage V to VIII seminiferous tubules. The Acrv1-iCre line can conditionally knockout a gene during spermiogenesis with a > 95% efficiency. Therefore, it could be useful to unravel the function of genes during the late stage of spermatogenesis, but it can also be used to produce an embryo with a paternally deleted allele without causing early spermatogenesis defects.

Keywords: Acrv1; Cre recombinase; SP10; conditional knockout; early development; fertility; spermatogenesis; spermiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Integrases / genetics
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Spermatids* / metabolism
  • Spermatozoa* / metabolism


  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases
  • Acrv1 protein, mouse
  • Membrane Proteins

Grants and funding

This research was funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-17-CE12-0004-01 to J.C.) and the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (SPF201909009274 to C.G.).