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Genesis. 2004 Jul;39(3):173-7.

Inner hair cell Cre-expressing transgenic mouse.

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Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.


Cochlear hair cells of the inner ear are mechanosensory transducers critical for sound reception in mammals. A mouse with a specific expression of Cre recombinase activity in hair cells is essential for hair cell-specific gene targeting. Here we report a transgenic mouse in which Cre activity is detected in inner hair cells, not in supporting cells, in the cochlea. The Cre activity was visualized with both X-gal staining and beta-galactosidase immunostaining in progeny of a cross between our Cre line and the reporter ROSA26R line. In inner hair cells, the Cre activity started at postnatal day 14 and was maintained throughout adulthood. Starting at postnatal day 50, a few outer hair cells in the outermost row of cochlear apical and middle turns displayed the Cre activity. In vestibular hair cells and spiral ganglia, the Cre activity was also detected. Cre activity was present in cells widely distributed throughout brain, testis, and retina, but was absent in many other tissues such as kidney, heart, liver, and intestine. This Cre mouse line can thus be used for conditional gene targeting in mature inner hair cells of the cochlea. genesis 39:173-177, 2004.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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