A Wisp3 Cre-knockin allele produces efficient recombination in spermatocytes during early prophase of meiosis I.PLoS One 2013; 8(9):e75116Plos
Individuals with the autosomal recessive skeletal disorder Progressive Pseudorheumatoid Dysplasia have loss-of-function mutations in WISP3, and aberrant WISP3 expression has been detected in tumors from patients with colon and breast cancer. In mice however, neither absence nor over-expression of WISP3 was found to cause a phenotype, and endogenous Wisp3 expression has been difficult to detect. To confirm that Wisp3 knockout mice have no phenotype and to identify potential sites of endogenous Wisp3 expression, we generated mice with a knockin allele (Wisp3 (GFP-Cre)) designed to express Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) and Cre-recombinase instead of WISP3. Heterozygous and homozygous knockin mice were fertile and indistinguishable from their wild-type littermates, confirming that mice lacking Wisp3 have no phenotype. We could not detect GFP-expression from the knockin allele, but we could detect Cre-expression after crossing mice with the knockin allele to Cre-reporter mice; the double heterozygous offspring had evidence of Cre-mediated recombination in several tissues. The only tissue that had high levels of Cre-mediated recombination was the testis, where recombination in spermatocytes occurred by early prophase of meiosis I. As a consequence, males that were double heterozygous for a Wisp3 (GFP-Cre) and a floxed allele only contributed a recombined allele to their offspring. We detected no evidence of Cre-mediated recombination in the female ovary, although when double heterozygous females contributed the reporter allele to their offspring it had recombined ~7% of the time. Wisp3 (GFP-Cre) expression therefore occurs less frequently and most likely at a later stage of oocyte development in female mice compared to male mice. We conclude that although WISP3 is dispensable in mice, male mice with a Wisp3 (GFP-Cre) allele (Jackson Laboratory stock # 017685) will be useful for studying early prophase of meiosis I and for efficiently recombining floxed alleles that are passed to offspring.