Nerve growth factor promoter activity revealed in mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein
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Nerve growth factor (NGF) and its precursor proNGF are perhaps the best described growth factors of the mammalian nervous system. There remains, however, a paucity of information regarding the precise cellular sites of proNGF/NGF synthesis. Here we report the generation of transgenic mice in which the NGF promoter controls the ectopic synthesis of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). These transgenic mice provide an unprecedented resolution of both neural cells (e.g., neocortical and hippocampal neurons) and non-neural cells (e.g., renal interstitial cells and thymic reticular cells) that display NGF promoter activity from postnatal development to adulthood. Moreover, the transgene is inducible by injury. At 2 days after sciatic nerve ligation, a robust population of EGFP-positive cells is seen in the proximal nerve stump. These transgenic mice offer novel insights into the cellular sites of NGF promoter activity and can be used as models for investigating the regulation of proNGF/NGF expression after injury.
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