We report the generation and initial characterization of a mouse line expressing tamoxifen-inducible improved Cre (iCre) recombinase (iCre-ER(T2)) under the regulation of NPHS2 (podocin) gene promoter. The resulting transgenic mouse line was named podocin-iCreER(T2) mice. The efficiency of iCre activity was confirmed by crossing podocin-iCreER(T2) with the ROSA26 reporter mouse. By using the floxed ROSA reporter mice, we found that tamoxifen specifically induced recombination in the kidneys. In the absence of tamoxifen, recombination was undetectable in podocin-iCreER(T2);ROSA26 mice. However, following intraperitoneal injection of tamoxifen, selective recombination was observed in the podocytes of adult animals. We further examined the efficiency of recombination by assessing various tamoxifen exposure regimens in adult mice. These results suggest that podocin-iCre-ER(T2) mouse provides an excellent genetic tool to examine the function of candidate genes in podocytes in a spatially and temporally-restricted manner.
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