Math1 is a bHLH transcription factor expressed in neural progenitor cells in multiple regions of the nervous system. Previously we identified a
Math1 enhancer that directs expression of reporter genes in a
Math1 specific pattern [Development 127 (2000) 1185]. We have used a portion of this enhancer to drive expression of a nuclear GFP reporter in the Math1 lineage in transgenic mice. In this transgenic mouse strain, GFP is expressed in Math1 domains in the (1) developing spinal cord in progenitors to dI1 dorsal interneurons, (2) granule-cell progenitors in the developing cerebellum, (3) Merkel cells in the skin, and (4) hair cells in the developing vestibular and auditory systems. Furthermore, non-Math1 related expression is detected that is likely due to the absence of inhibitory regulatory sequences from the transgene. These expression domains include (1) the apical ectodermal ridge in developing limbs, (2) post-mitotic cells in the developing cortex and spinal cord, (3) the dentate gyrus, (4) retina, and (5) olfactory epithelium. Because GFP marks specific neuronal cell types in living tissue, this transgenic strain is a powerful tool for future studies on the development and electrophysiological properties of distinct cell types in the central nervous system and in sensory systems.