The use of Cre-loxP technology for the purpose of cell type-specific gene ablation has revolutionized developmental biology and biomedicine. Several transgenic mouse lines have been developed for the analysis of gene function in the gastrointestinal tract, but in all of these the expression of Cre is limited to the epithelial cell layer. No Cre- expressing transgenic mouse lines ("Cre lines") exist for the deletion of loxP-flanked genes specifically in gut mesoderm. To address this deficiency, we have derived a bacterial artificial chromosome based transgenic mouse line in which the Cre gene is controlled by the Foxl1 promoter and enhancer elements. X-Gal staining of Foxl1-Cre; Rosa26R bi-transgenic lines confirm that Foxl1-Cre results in recombination specifically in the gastrointestinal mesenchyme. The Foxl1-Cre line will facilitate the dissection of mesenchymal to epithelial signaling that is known to play a major role in the patterning and function of the gastrointestinal tract.
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