Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Expression of Cre recombinase in dopaminoceptive neurons

Thomas Lemberger14, Rosanna Parlato1, Donald Dassesse2, Magdalena Westphal1, Emilio Casanova15, Marc Turiault3, François Tronche3, Serge N Schiffmann2 and Günther Schütz1*

Author Affiliations

1 German Cancer Research Center, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

2 Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1070 Bruxelles, Belgium

3 Collège de France, Institut de Biologie, 75231 Paris Cedex 5, France

4 Molecular Systems Biology, The EMBO Building, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany

5 Department of Physiology, Biozentrum, 4056 Basel, Switzerland

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BMC Neuroscience 2007, 8:4  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-8-4

Published: 3 January 2007



Dopamine-activated signaling regulates locomotor and emotional responses and alterations in dopamine-signaling are responsible of several psychomotor disorders. In order to identify specific functions of these pathways, the Cre/loxP system has been used. Here, we describe the generation and the characterization of a transgenic mouse line expressing the Cre recombinase in dopaminoceptive neurons. To this purpose, we used as expression vector a 140 kb yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) containing the dopamine D1 receptor gene (Drd1a).


In the chosen line, D1Cre, the spatio-temporal pattern of Cre expression closely recapitulated that of the endogenous Drd1a gene, as assessed by immunohistological approaches in embryonic and adult stages. Efficiency of recombination was confirmed by crossing D1Cre with three different loxP lines (Creb1loxP, CaMKIVloxP and GRloxP) and with the R26R reporter. In the three loxP lines studied, recombination was restricted to the area of Cre expression.


In view of the patterns of recombination restricted to the major dopaminoceptive regions as seen in the context of the CREB, CaMKIV and GR mutations, the D1Cre line will be a useful tool to dissect the contributions of specific genes to biological processes involving dopamine signaling.