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Dev Biol. 1987 Mar;120(1):177-85.

Specific expression of the chicken delta-crystallin gene in the lens and the pyramidal neurons of the piriform cortex in transgenic mice.


Two transgenic mice, 5-8 and 7-5, carrying the chicken delta-crystallin gene were produced by microinjecting cloned genes into male pronuclei. The mice were analyzed at 8 weeks of age with respect to gene integration and expression by means of blotting techniques and immunohistochemistry. Southern blot analysis indicated that both mice carried, on average, 50 copies of intact delta-crystallin gene per cell. Histological analysis of the mice using DNA-DNA in situ hybridization indicated that mouse 5-8 carried the delta-crystallin gene in every cell while mouse 7-5 was mosaic, with 20-40% of the cells of various tissues carrying the gene. Western blot analysis indicated that in both mice delta-crystallin is expressed in the lens and the cerebrum, but not in any other tissue examined. Immunohistological analysis revealed that, in the cerebrum of the mice, delta-crystallin was expressed specifically in pyramidal neurons located in layer IIb of the anterior piriform cortex. Thus, our results with transgenic mice not only demonstrate the primary specificity of delta-crystallin gene expression in authentic lens tissue, but reveal the unexpected specificity of this chicken gene in the central nervous system of the mouse.

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