The dopamine receptor Drd2 is highly expressed in medium spiny neurons (MSNs) of the striatum. The Drd2-expressing MSNs send inhibitory projections to the globus pallidus externa (GPe) which in turn sends inhibitory projections to the sub-thalamic nucleus (STN). The STN neurons have excitory projections that activate basal ganglia structures such as the globus pallidus interna (GPi) and substantia nigra reticulata (SNr). This collection of projecting neurons is referred to as the “indirect pathway” or “D2 pathway”. The indirect pathway is important for controlling voluntary movements and reward-related behaviors. We have generated and characterized a strain of transgenic Long Evans rats expressing iCre recombinase under a Drd2 promoter referred to as “LE-Tg(Drd2-iCre)1Ottc.” The tissue-specific expression of iCre can be used in combination with Cre-dependent transgenes to obtain selective expression of transgenes in Drd2(+) cells.
Status and Availability
This strain has not yet been published.
As of February 21, 2017, this strain is available as line 768 at the RRRC.
This rat is registered at the Rat Genome Database (RGD) as RGD ID#10412327.
Legend: A bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) containing the rat Drd2 gene (CH230-11B15) was obtained from CHORI, and recombineered to replace the start codon of Drd2 with a 1.3 kb cassette containing iCre (improved Cre recombinase), the polyadenylation signal from the gene for bovine growth hormone, and a galk bacterial selection marker (pOTTC464). This BAC was injected into the pronuclei of fertilized Long Evans rat embryos by NIMH Transgenic Core, and ultimately resulted in two independent, phenotypically positive Drd2-iCre lines. This line (LE-Tg(Drd2-iCre)1Ottc) has four copies of the transgene per haploid genome as determined by droplet digital PCR.
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*Rat Research and Resource Center (RRRC)
Acknowledgements: YaJun Zhang, Julie Necarsulmer, Chris Richie, Brandon Harvey, Janette Lebron