The use of mouse gene targeting to study molecules important in neural development is oftentimes impaired by early embryonic lethality. In order to address later roles for such molecules, specifically in neural stem cells, we generated transgenic mice that express both the tetracycline-inducible molecule rtTA-M2 and GFP under the control of the neural precursor specific form of nestin. Developmental analysis of these mice demonstrates that GFP expression is exclusive to the neural tube. Adult expression of GFP is seen only in known areas of adult neurogenesis, namely, the subventricular zone and the dentate gyrus. When crossed with a second transgenic mouse (TetOp-Cre) that expresses the Cre recombinase under the control of the tetracycline responsive promotor, we demonstrate temporal induction of Cre in bigenic animals exposed to doxycycline. We further demonstrate the feasibility of this approach by using the ROSA-26 reporter mouse to mediate recombination in neural precursor cells.
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