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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 6;9(1):e84477. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084477. eCollection 2014.

Figla-Cre transgenic mice expressing myristoylated EGFP in germ cells provide a model for investigating perinatal oocyte dynamics.

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Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2014;9(3):e93347.


FIGLA (Factor in the germline, alpha) is a bHLH transcription factor expressed abundantly in female and less so in male germ cells. Mice lacking FIGLA do not form primordial follicles in the ovary and females are sterile, but there is no obvious phenotype in males. Using the Figla promoter to express Cre recombinase, we have established mEGFP/mTomato reporter mice with green germ cells and red somatic tissue. These mice were crossed into the Figla null background to accelerate perinatal oocyte loss. Live imaging of cultured newborn ovaries provides evidence that few oocytes egress and the vast majority disappear within the confines of the ovary. Although a cohort of mobile, phagocytic cells was observed, macrophage depletion in Csf1(op/op) mice did not affect oocyte loss. Investigations with TUNEL assays and caspase inhibitors suggest that apoptosis plays a role in the perinatal loss of oocyte in female mice. These results establish the utility of Figla-EGFP/Cre; mTomato/mEGFP in investigating germ cell dynamics in prepubertal mice.

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