OMP-ZsGreen fluorescent protein transgenic mice for visualisation of olfactory sensory neurons in vivo and in vitro

Jenny A K Ekberg, Daniel A. Amaya, Fatemeh Chehrehasa, Katie E. Lineburg, Christina Claxton, Louisa C E Windus, Brian Key, Alan Mackay-Sim, James A. St John*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Research into the biology of the mammalian olfactory system would be greatly enhanced by transgenic reporter mice with cell-specific fluorescence. To this end we previously generated a mouse whose olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) express DsRed driven by the S100ß promoter. We present here a transgenic reporter mouse whose olfactory sensory neurons express ZsGreen, driven by the olfactory marker protein (OMP) promoter. ZsGreen was very strongly expressed throughout the cytoplasm of olfactory sensory neurons labelling them in living cells and after fixation. Labelled sensory neurons were seen in all olfactory regions in the nose and fluorescent axons coursed through the lamina propria and into the main and accessory bulbs. We developed methods for culturing embryonic and postnatal olfactory sensory neurons using these mice to visualise living cells in vitro. ZsGreen was expressed along the length of axons providing exceptional detail of the growth cones. The ZsGreen fluorescence was very stable, without fading during frequent imaging. The combination of OMP-ZsGreen and S100ß-DsRed transgenic mice is ideal for developmental studies and neuron-glia assays and they can be bred with mutant mice to dissect the roles of various molecules in neurogenesis, differentiation, axon growth and targeting and other aspects of olfactory sensory neuron and glia biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-98
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


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