• chondrocyte;
  • Cre-mediated recombination;
  • conditional knockout;
  • tamoxifen;
  • X-Gal staining


Postnatal cartilage development and growth are regulated by key growth factors and signaling molecules. To fully understand the function of these regulators, an inducible and chondrocyte-specific gene deletion system needs to be established to circumvent the perinatal lethality. In this report, we have generated a transgenic mouse model (Col2a1-CreERT2) in which expression of the Cre recombinase is driven by the chondrocyte-specific col2a1 promoter in a tamoxifen-inducible manner. To determine the specificity and efficiency of the Cre recombination, we have bred Col2a1-CreERT2 mice with Rosa26R reporter mice. The X-Gal staining showed that the Cre recombination is specifically achieved in cartilage tissues with tamoxifen-induction. In vitro experiments of chondrocyte cell culture also demonstrate the 4-hydroxy tamoxifen-induced Cre recombination. These results demonstrate that Col2a1-CreERT2 transgenic mice can be used as a valuable tool for an inducible and chondrocyte-specific gene deletion approach. genesis 45:44–50, 2007. Published 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.