Here we describe a knock-in mouse model for Cre-loxP-based conditional expression of TRPV1 in central nervous system neurons. Expression of Cre recombinase using biolistics, lentivirus or genetic intercrosses triggered heterologous expression of TRPV1 in a cell-specific manner. Application of the TRPV1 ligand capsaicin induced strong inward currents, triggered action potentials and activated stereotyped behaviors, allowing cell type-specific chemical genetic control of neuronal activity in vitro and in vivo.
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