Inducing tissue-specific genetic alterations under temporal control allows for the analysis of gene function in particular cell types at specified points in time. We have generated a system for tetracycline-controlled expression of Cre recombinase in mice using the unique CreTeR vector. The gonadotroph-specific bovine α-subunit (Bα) promoter fragment was subcloned into the CreTeR vector, creating a technique for highly regulated expression of Cre recombinase exclusively in pituitary gonadotrophs. Control of Cre recombinase in the CreTeR vector was demonstrated in LβT2 pituitary cell lines, where Cre protein was detected in cells treated with doxycycline, but not in untreated cells. In transgenic mice, Cre was expressed in pituitary gonadotrophs of mice treated with doxycycline, but not in non-pituitary tissues or in transgenic mice not treated with doxycycline. We demonstrated Cre expression in the gonadotroph by immunostaining showing co-localization of Cre recombinase with the β-subunit of LH (LH-β). Furthermore, by crossing Bα/CreTeR with R26R mice, we were able to demonstrate functional recombination within pituitary gonadotrophs, detected by lacZ expression. The Bα/CreTeR mice described here can be used to study the function of virtually any gene in the gonadotroph; in particular, this will be useful in studying genes, which may have distinct roles in development and in the adult.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology