Development of a pituitary-specific cre line targeted to the Pit-1 lineage.Genesis. 2008 Jan; 46(1):37-42.G
Tissue-specific expression of the Cre recombinase is a well-established genetic tool to analyze gene function in specific tissues and cell types. In this report, we describe the generation of a new transgenic line that expresses Cre under the control of the rat growth hormone releasing hormone receptor (rGhrhr) promoter. This promoter, chosen to target the anterior pituitary, drives cre-mediated recombination in cells of the Pit1 lineage, including somatotrophs, lactotrophs, and thyrotrophs. Cre activity is first detected at embryonic day 13.5, and gradually increases to reach high level expression by postnatal day 2. In addition to the pituitary, rGhrhr-cre expression was detected in vibrissae and in hair follicles of the proximal limb, but not in other tissues. The rGhrhr-cre line will be a valuable tool for the study of the development of the pituitary Pit1 lineage and for the study of tumorigenesis involving these cells.