Characterization of a thy1.2 GFP transgenic mouse reveals a tissue-specific organization of the spinal dorsal horn.
ABSTRACT In this study, transgenic mice in which membrane-linked enhanced green fluorescent protein (mGFP) is expressed from the Thy1.2 promoter were used. In these mice, a subpopulation of small to medium sized DRG neurons double stained for IB4 but not for CGRP. Most of the peripheral terminals traversed the dermis and ramify within the epidermis and form superficial terminals. Within the spinal cord, these afferents terminated exclusively within the substantia gelatinosa (SG). A second fibre type in the skin also expressed mGFP, and formed club-shaped endings towards the bases of hairs. Injury to the sciatic nerve resulted in mGFP loss from the SG ipsilateral to the nerve injury, but also in the corresponding region contralaterally. Together, these findings reveal the specificity of connectivity of a defined subpopulation of DRG sensory neurons innervating the epidermis and this will facilitate analysis of their physiological functions.