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Morphologic characterization of green fluorescent protein in embryonic, neonatal, and adult transgenic rats.

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Department of Anatomy, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, Japan.


Transgenic (Tg) animals with reporter genes are useful models in which to study cell lineage and the process of differentiation into tissues. We developed the green fluorescent protein (GFP)-Tg rat, which is more suitable for transplantation and stem cell research because it is larger than mice. We found that marker gene expression was dependent on each organ and developmental stage. In this study we describe GFP expression in various tissues from embryonic, neonatal, and adult animals. GFP expression in brain, lung, liver, and islet tissues was restricted to early developmental stages, but it was continuously strong in the exocrine pancreas, kidney, and cardiac and skeletal muscles. The CAG promoter that was presumed to induce ubiquitous protein expression might be responsible for the differences in expression.

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