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Neurons are generated from neural progenitor cells not only during development but also in the mature brain. To develop an in vivo system for analyzing neurogenesis, we generated transgenic mice expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of regulatory regions of the nestin gene. GFP fluorescence was observed in areas and during periods connected with neurogenesis, including embryonic neuroepithelium, neonatal cerebellum, and hippocampal dentate gyrus and rostral migratory pathway from the subventricular zone to the olfactory bulb in the adult. GFP-positive cells in the adult brain included immature neuronal cells expressing polysialylated NCAM. BrdU labeling experiments revealed that newly generated interneurons which migrated rostrally from the subventricular zone expressed GFP until they reached the olfactory bulb. These results indicate that nestin promoter-GFP transgenic mice can be utilized to visualize the regions of neurogenesis throughout the life of the animals and to follow the migration and differentiation of newly generated neurons.

(C) 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.