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J Neurosci Res. 2002 Apr 15;68(2):248-53.

Timing the doxycycline yields different patterns of genomic recombination in brain neurons with a new inducible Cre transgene.

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Department of Neuroscience, Box 587, BMC, Uppsala University, S-751 23 Uppsala, Sweden.


We have developed a transgenic mouse expressing the Cre recombinase under control of a tetracycline-responsive promoter. Using a CamKIIalpha-driven tTA transgenic strain and a lacZ reporter mouse, we obtained the expected neuronal pattern of recombination in the olfactory lobe, cortex, striatum, hippocampus and Purkinje cells. Moreover, recombination can be completely abolished by feeding the mice doxycycline in their drinking water. We also show that it is possible to get a different pattern of recombination by changing the timing of the doxycycline-mediated shutdown of Cre expression. By starting the doxycycline treatment at birth, we restrict recombination to striatum only. This approach should be applicable to other inducible transgenic strains, thus increasing the number of available tissue-specific patterns for conditional knockouts. Also, our tetO-Cre transgene can be combined with any of the increasing number of tetracycline transactivator transgenic strains to direct specifically inducible genomic recombination to several areas of the brain.

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