Pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and related catecholaminergic neurological disorders is closely associated with changes in the levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Therefore, investigation of the regulation of the TH gene system should assist in understanding the pathomechanisms involved in these neurological disorders. To identify regulatory domains that direct human TH expression in the central nervous system (CNS), we generated two transgenic mouse lines in which enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) is expressed under the control of either 3.2-kb (hTHP-EYFP construct) human TH promoter or 3.2-kb promoter with 2-kb 3′-flanking regions (hTHP-ex3-EYFP construct) of the TH gene. In the adult transgenic mouse brain, the hTHP-EYFP construct directs neuron-specific EYFP expression in various CNS areas, such as olfactory bulb, striatum, interpeduncular nucleus, cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and particularly dentate gyrus. Although these EYFP-positive cells were identified as mature neurons, few EYFP-positive cells were TH-positive neurons. On the other hand, we could detect the EYFP mRNA expression in a subset of neurons in the olfactory bulb, midbrain, and cerebellum, in which expression of endogenous TH is enriched, with hTHP-ex3-EYFP transgenic mice. These results indicate that the 3.2-kb sequence upstream of the TH gene is not sufficient for proper expression and that the 2-kb sequence from the translation start site to exon 3 is necessary for expression of EYFP in a subset of catecholaminergic neurons.
- Catecholaminergic neuron
- Transgenic mice
- Tyrosine hydroxylase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience