Efficient conditional gene expression following transplantation of retrovirally transduced bone marrow stem cells

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Retroviral gene therapy combined with bone marrow stem cell transplantation can be used to generate mice with ectopic gene expression in the bone marrow compartment in a quick and cost effective manner when compared to generating and maintaining transgenic mouse lines. However a limitation of this procedure is the lack of cell specificity in gene expression that is associated with the use of endogenous retroviral promoters. Restricting gene expression to specific cell subsets utilising tissue-specific promoter driven retroviral vectors is a challenge. Here we describe the generation of conditional expression of retrovirally encoded genes in specific bone marrow derived cell lineages utilising a Cre-dependent retroviral vector. By utilising Lck and CD19 restricted Cre transgenic bone marrow stem cells, we generate chimeric animals with T or B lymphocyte restricted gene expression respectively. The design of the Cre-dependent retroviral vector enables expression of encoded MOG and GFP genes only in association with Cre mediated DNA inversion. Importantly this strategy does not significantly increase the size of the retroviral vector; as such we are able to generate bone marrow chimeric animals with significantly higher chimerism levels than previous studies utilising Cre-dependent retroviral vectors and Cre transgenic bone marrow stem cells. This demonstrates that the use of Cre-dependent retroviral vectors is able to yield high chimerism levels for experimental use and represent a viable alternative to generating transgenic animals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183 - 188
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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