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.
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