An inducible transgenic Cre mouse line for the study of hippocampal development and adult neurogenesis

Key Laboratory of Developmental Genes and Human Diseases, MOE, Institute of Life Science, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210009, People's Republic of China.
genesis (Impact Factor: 2.02). 12/2011; 49(12):919-26. DOI: 10.1002/dvg.20765
Source: PubMed


The hippocampus is crucial for higher brain functions, such as learning, memory, and emotion. Many diseases like epilepsy and Down's syndrome are associated with abnormalities in early hippocampal development. In addition, adult dentate neurogenesis is thought to be defective in several classes of psychiatric disorders. However, the mechanisms regulating hippocampal development and adult neurogenesis remain unclear. One of the limitations to studying these processes is the scarcity of available specific mouse tools. Here, we report an inducible transgenic Cre mouse line, Frizzled 9-CreER™, in which tamoxifen administration induces Cre recombinant. Our data show that Cre is expressed in the developing hippocampal primordium, confined to the granule cell layer at P20 and further limited to the subgranular zone in the adult dentate gyrus. Cre recombinase shows very high activity in all of these regions. Thus, this transgenic line will be a powerful tool in understanding the mechanisms of hippocampal development, adult neurogenesis, and associated diseases.

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    ABSTRACT: Foxg1, formerly BF-1, is expressed continuously in the postnatal and adult hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG). This transcription factor (TF) is thought to be involved in Rett syndrome, which is characterized by reduced hippocampus size, indicating its important role in hippocampal development. Due to the perinatal death of Foxg1(-/-) mice, the function of Foxg1 in postnatal DG neurogenesis remains to be explored. Here, we describe the generation of a Foxg1(fl/fl) mouse line. Foxg1 was conditionally ablated from the DG during prenatal and postnatal development by crossing this line with a Frizzled9-CreER(TM) line and inducing recombination with tamoxifen. In this study, we first show that disruption of Foxg1 results in the loss of the subgranular zone and a severely disrupted secondary radial glial scaffold, leading to the impaired migration of granule cells. Moreover, detailed analysis reveals that Foxg1 may be necessary for the maintenance of the DG progenitor pool and that the lack of Foxg1 promotes both gliogenesis and neurogenesis. We additionally show that Foxg1 may be required for the survival and maturation of postmitotic neurons and that Foxg1 may be involved in Reelin signaling in regulating postnatal DG development. Last, prenatal deletion of Foxg1 suggests that it is rarely involved in the migration of primordial granule cells. In summary, we report that Foxg1 is critical for DG formation, especially during early postnatal stage.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience