Targeted cell- or region-specific gene recombination is widely used in the functional analysis of genes implicated in development and disease. In the brain, targeted gene recombination has become a mainstream approach to study neurodegeneration or tumourigenesis. The use of the Cre-loxP system to study tumourigenesis in the adult CNS can be limited, when the promoter (such as GFAP) is also transiently expressed during development, which can result in the recombination of progenies of different lineages. Engineering of transgenic mice expressing Cre recombinase fused to a mutant of the human oestrogen receptor (ER) allows the circumvention of transient developmental Cre expression by inducing recombination in the adult organism. The recombination of loxP sequences occurs only in the presence of tamoxifen. Systemic administration of tamoxifen can, however, exhibit toxicity and may also recombine unwanted cell populations where the promoter driving Cre expression is active at the time of tamoxifen administration. Here, we report that a single site-specific injection of an active derivative of tamoxifen successfully activates Cre recombinase and selectively recombines tumour suppressor genes in neural progenitor cells of the subventricular zone and we demonstrate its application in a model for the generation of intrinsic brain tumours.
- Received August 13, 2015.
- Accepted December 21, 2015.
- © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
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