Generation of Fbn1 conditional null mice implicates the extracellular microfibrils in osteoprogenitor recruitment.
Loss-of-function experiments in mice have yielded invaluable mechanistic insights into the pathogenesis of Marfan syndrome (MFS) and implicitly, into the multiple roles fibrillin-1 microfibrils play in the developing and adult organism. Unfortunately, neonatal death from aortic complications of mice lacking fibrillin-1 (Fbn1(-/-) mice) has limited the scope of these studies. Here, we report the creation of a conditional mutant allele (Fbn1(fneo) ) that contains loxP sites bordering exon1 of Fbn1 and an frt-flanked neo expression cassette downstream of it. Fbn1(fneo/+) mice were crossed with FLPeR mice and the resulting Fbn1(Lox/+) progeny were crossed with Fbn1(+/-) ;CMV-Cre mice to generate Fbn1(CMV-/-) mice, which were found to phenocopy the vascular abnormalities of Fbn1(-/-) mice. Furthermore, mating Fbn1(Lox/+) mice with Prx1-Cre or Osx-Cre mice revealed an unappreciated role of fibrillin-1 microfibrils in restricting osteoprogenitor cell recruitment. Fbn1(Lox/+) mice are, therefore, an informative genetic resource to further dissect MFS pathogenesis and the role of extracellular fibrillin-1 assemblies in organ development and homeostasis.