Distribution of MT1 Melatonin Receptor Promoter-Driven RFP Expression in the Brains of BAC C3H/HeN Transgenic Mice

E. B. Adamah-Biassi, Y. Zhang, H. Jung, S. Vissapragada, R. J. Miller, M. L. Dubocovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The pineal hormone melatonin activates two G-protein coupled receptors (MT1 and MT2) to regulate in part biological functions. The MT1 and MT2 melatonin receptors are heterogeneously distributed in the mammalian brain including humans. In the mouse, only a few reports have assessed the expression of the MT1 melatonin receptor expression using 2-iodomelatonin binding, in situ hybridization and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Here, we described a transgenic mouse in which red fluorescence protein (RFP) is expressed under the control of the endogenous MT1 promoter, by inserting RFP cDNA at the start codon of MTNR1a gene within a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) and expressing this construct as a transgene. The expression of RFP in the brain of this mouse was examined either directly under a fluorescent microscope or immunohistochemically using an antibody against RFP (RFP-MT1). RFP-MT1 expression was observed in many brain regions including the subcommissural organ, parts of the ependyma lining the lateral and third ventricles, the aqueduct, the hippocampus, the cerebellum, the pars tuberalis, the habenula and the habenula commissure. This RFP-MT1 transgenic model provides a unique tool for studying the distribution of the MT1 receptor in the brain of mice, its cell-specific expression and its function in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-84
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • C3H/HeN mice
  • MT1 melatonin receptors
  • RFP-MT1 promoter expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology

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