PURPOSE. To establish a transgenic mouse line that expresses Cre-recombinase in retinal rod bipolar cells for the generation of rod bipolar cell-specific knockout mutants. METHODS. The IRES-Cre-cDNA. fragment was inserted into a 173-kb bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) carrying the intact Pcp2 gene, by using red-mediated recombineering. Transgenic mice were generated with the modified BAC and identified. The Cre-transgenic mice were crossed with ROSA26 and Z/EG reporter mice to detect Cre-recombinase activity. RESULTS. X-gal staining showed that strong Cre-recombinase activities were present in retinal inner nuclear layers and cerebellar Purkinje cells. Double staining with an anti-GFP antibody and an anti-PKCα antibody (specific for retinal rod bipolar cells) revealed that Cre-recombinase activity localized exclusively to the rod bipolar cells in the retina. CONCLUSIONS. A mouse BAC-Pcp2-IRES-Cre transgenic line that expresses Cre-recombinase in retinal rod bipolar neurons has been established. Because mutations in some ubiquitously expressed genes may result in retinal degenerative diseases, the mouse strain BAC-Pcp2-IRES-Cre will be a useful new tool for investigating the effects of retinal rod bipolar cell-specific gene inactivation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience