• bacterial artificial chromosome;
  • forebrain development;
  • Cre recombinase;
  • interneuron;
  • medial ganglionic eminence;
  • neurogenesis


The homeodomain transcription factor Nkx2.1 is expressed in the pallidal (subcortical) telencephalon, including the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) and preoptic area. Studies have shown that Nkx2.1 is required for normal patterning of the MGE and for the specification of the parvalbumin (PV)- and somatostatin (SST)-expressing cortical interneurons. To define the contribution of Nkx2.1 lineages to neurons in the mature telencephalon, we have generated transgenic mice carrying the genomic integration of a modified bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) in which the second exon of Nkx2.1 is replaced by the Cre recombinase. Analysis of these mice has found that they express the Cre recombinase and Cre reporters within Nkx2.1-expressing domains of the brain, thyroid, pituitary, and lung. Telencephalic expression of reporters begins at about embryonic day 10.5. Expression both of Cre and of recombination-based Cre reporters is weaker within the dorsalmost region of the MGE than in other Nkx2.1-expressing regions. In this paper, we present fate-mapping data on Nkx2.1-lineage neurons throughout the telencephalon, including the cerebral cortex, amygdala, olfactory bulb, striatum, globus pallidus, septum, and nucleus basalis. J. Comp. Neurol. 506:16–29, 2008. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.