Tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) participates in the control of synaptic plasticity and memory formation in the central nervous system (CNS). Transgenic mice harbouring either 9.5, 3.0 or 1.4 kb of the human t-PA promoter fused to the LacZ reporter gene were used to assess t-PA promoter-directed expression in vivo. The 9.5 kb t-PA promoter directed expression to the brain, most notably to the dentate gyrus, superior colliculus, hippocampus, thalamus and piriform cortex. Staining was also observed in the retrosplenial and somatosensory cortex. The 3.0 kb t-PA promoter directed generalized and poorly defined expression to the cortex and hippocampus, while the 1.4 kb t-PA promoter directed expression selectively to the medial habenula. Intravenous administration of lipopolysaccharide into mice habouring the 9.5 kb t-PA promoter resulted in an increase in reporter gene activity in the lateral orbital cortex and thalamus. Results of in vitro transfection experiments of NT2 cells with a series of t-PA promoter deletion constructs confirmed the presence of regulatory elements throughout the 9.5 kb promoter region. Finally, we describe a cis-acting element related to the NFAT recognition site that provides a protein-binding site and which may play a role in the selective expression of the 1.4 t-PA promoter in the medial habenula. These results indicate that elements between -3.0 and -9.5 kb of the t-PA promoter confer constitutive and inducible expression to specific regions of the CNS.
- Gene transcription
- Medial habenula