Despite the strength of the Cre/loxP recombination system in animal models, its application in rats trails that in mice because of the lack of relevant reporter strains. Here, we generated a floxed STOP tdTomato rat that conditionally expresses a red fluorescent protein variant (tdTomato) in the presence of exogenous Cre recombinase. The tdTomato signal vividly visualizes neurons including their projection fibers and spines without any histological enhancement. In addition, a transgenic rat line (FLAME) that ubiquitously expresses tdTomato was successfully established by injecting intracytoplasmic Cre mRNA into fertilized ova. Our rat reporter system will facilitate connectome studies as well as the visualization of the fine structures of genetically identified cells for long periods both in vivo and ex vivo. Furthermore, FLAME is an ideal model for organ transplantation research owing to improved traceability of cells/tissues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)