Generation of a transgenic mouse model with chondrocyte-specific and tamoxifen-inducible expression of Cre recombinase.
Postnatal cartilage development and growth are regulated by key growth factors and signaling molecules. To fully understand the function of these regulators, an inducible and chondrocyte-specific gene deletion system needs to be established to circumvent the perinatal lethality. In this report, we have generated a transgenic mouse model (Col2a1-CreER(T2)) in which expression of the Cre recombinase is driven by the chondrocyte-specific col2a1 promoter in a tamoxifen-inducible manner. To determine the specificity and efficiency of the Cre recombination, we have bred Col2a1-CreER(T2) mice with Rosa26R reporter mice. The X-Gal staining showed that the Cre recombination is specifically achieved in cartilage tissues with tamoxifen-induction. In vitro experiments of chondrocyte cell culture also demonstrate the 4-hydroxy tamoxifen-induced Cre recombination. These results demonstrate that Col2a1-CreER(T2) transgenic mice can be used as a valuable tool for an inducible and chondrocyte-specific gene deletion approach.