Ferritin as a tissue specific MRI reporter of inducible gene expression in transgenic mice
Ziv K, Kalchenko V, Harmelin A, Neeman M, Cohen B
Weizmann Institute of Science
Ferritin, the iron storage protein was suggested as a reporter gene for MRI. We report here generation of novel Tet:EGFP-HAferritin transgenic mice as a platform for tissue/promoter specific tetracycline-inducible expression of HAferritin and EGFP. Double transgenic offspring generated by crossing with mice expressing tetracycline transactivator in the liver were used for analysis of MR visibility and physiological impact of liver selective overexpression of h-ferritin. Expression of ferritin resulted in reduced R2, which was consistent with histologicaly detected intracellular vacuoles in liver hepatocytes. These findings demonstrate the feasibility of MRI detection of inducible tissue specific ferritin overexpression in transgenic mice.