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29 July 2009 Production of Germline Transgenic Prairie Voles (Microtus ochrogaster) Using Lentiviral Vectors
Zoe R. Donaldson, Shang-Hsun Yang, Anthony W.S. Chan, Larry J. Young
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The study of alternative model organisms has yielded tremendous insights into the regulation of behavioral and physiological traits not displayed by more widely used animal models, such as laboratory rats and mice. In particular, comparative approaches often exploit species ideally suited for investigating specific phenomenon. For instance, comparative studies of socially monogamous prairie voles and polygamous meadow voles have been instrumental toward gaining an understanding of the genetic and neurobiological basis of social bonding. However, laboratory studies of less commonly used organisms, such as prairie voles, have been limited by a lack of genetic tools, including the ability to manipulate the genome. Here, we show that lentiviral vector-mediated transgenesis is a rapid and efficient approach for creating germline transgenics in alternative laboratory rodents. Injection of a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing lentiviral vector into the perivitelline space of 23 single-cell embryos yielded three live offspring (13 %), one of which (33%) contained germline integration of a GFP transgene driven by the human ubiquitin-C promoter. In comparison, transfer of 23 uninjected embryos yielded six live offspring (26%). Green fluorescent protein is present in all tissues examined and is expressed widely in the brain. The GFP transgene is heritable and stably expressed until at least the F(2) generation. This technology has the potential to allow investigation of specific gene candidates in prairie voles and provides a general protocol to pursue germline transgenic manipulation in many different rodent species.

Zoe R. Donaldson, Shang-Hsun Yang, Anthony W.S. Chan, and Larry J. Young "Production of Germline Transgenic Prairie Voles (Microtus ochrogaster) Using Lentiviral Vectors," Biology of Reproduction 81(6), 1189-1195, (29 July 2009).
Received: 17 March 2009; Accepted: 1 July 2009; Published: 29 July 2009
Central nervous system
Lentiviral vector
prairie vole
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