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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 24;8(6):e66873. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066873. Print 2013.

Genetic background affects human glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter activity.

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Department of Molecular Physiology, University of Saarland, Homburg, Germany.


The human glial fibrillary acidic protein (hGFAP) promoter has been used to generate numerous transgenic mouse lines, which has facilitated the analysis of astrocyte function in health and disease. Here, we evaluated the expression levels of various hGFAP transgenes at different ages in the two most commonly used inbred mouse strains, FVB/N (FVB) and C57BL/6N (B6N). In general, transgenic mice maintained on the B6N background displayed weaker transgene expression compared with transgenic FVB mice. Higher level of transgene expression in B6N mice could be regained by crossbreeding to FVB wild type mice. However, the endogenous murine GFAP expression was equivalent in both strains. In addition, we found that endogenous GFAP expression was increased in transgenic mice in comparison to wild type mice. The activities of the hGFAP transgenes were not age-dependently regulated. Our data highlight the importance of proper expression analysis when non-homologous recombination transgenesis is used.

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