Background. While several mouse strains have recently been developed for tracing neural crest or oligodendrocyte lineages, each strain has inherent limitations. The connection between human SOX10 mutations and neural crest cell pathogenesis led us to focus on the Sox10 gene, which is critical for neural crest development. We generated Sox10-Venus BAC transgenic mice to monitor Sox10 expression in both normal development and in pathological processes. Results. Tissue fluorescence distinguished neural crest progeny cells and oligodendrocytes in the Sox10-Venus mouse embryo. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed that Venus expression was restricted to cells expressing endogenous Sox10. Time-lapse imaging of various tissues in Sox10-Venus mice demonstrated that Venus expression could be visualized at the single-cell level in vivo due to the intense, focused Venus fluorescence. In the adult Sox10-Venus mouse, several types of mature and immature oligodendrocytes along with Schwann cells were clearly labeled with Venus, both before and after spinal cord injury. Conclusions. In the newly-developed Sox10-Venus transgenic mouse, Venus fluorescence faithfully mirrors endogenous Sox10 expression and allows for in vivo imaging of live cells at the single-cell level. This Sox10-Venus mouse will thus be a useful tool for studying neural crest cells or oligodendrocytes, both in development and in pathological processes.
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