Transgenic mice with fluorescently tagged neuronal mitochondria as a new tool to study axonal transport
Thy1-CFP Transgenic mice
Axonal transport supplies organelles to axons and synapses, but little is known about how organelles are distributed among the branches of an axon to insure adequate supply of resources. This problem applies to axonal mitochondria, which play the central role in the energy metabolism of axons and synapses despite their origination in the soma. Because mitochondria are typically sparsely distributed and large enough to be imaged with optical techniques, their means of distribution could be readily addressed by time-lapse imaging of mitochondria in vivo if a stable vital marker for neuronal mitochondria were available.
This invention is a tool for the studies of mitochondrial transport in adult motor neurons. Results generated can be correlated to the complex geometry of nerve cells in situ, their physiological state, pathological changes and developmental dynamics.
Innovations and Advantages
Transgenic mice that express cyan fluorescent protein targeted to mitochondria. In these mice, neuronal mitochondria can be visualized in individual neurons including their dendrites, axons and synapses. The intensity of the expression is sufficient to image individual mitochondria with high resolution and their movements be followed in vivo over extended periods of time.
This transgenic mouse is available through Jackson Laboratory JAX 007967 (JAX 007967).
Use of mice by companies or for-profit entities requires a separate commercial license from Harvard University.
Misgeld T; Kerschensteiner M; Bareyre FM; Burgess RW; Lichtman JW. 2007. Imaging axonal transport of mitochondria in vivo. Nature Methods 4(7):559-561.
Bareyre, Florence M.
Lichtman, Jeffrey W.
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Debra Peattie, Director of Business Development
Reference Harvard Case #2612