Cre-expressing neurons in the cortical white matter of Ntsr1-Cre GN220 mice

Sofie C. Sundberg, Björn Granseth
  • Neuroscience Letters, May 2018, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2018.03.053

A special kind of nerve cell at an unusual location is targeted in a genetically modified mouse

What is it about?

We have previously shown that nerve cells in the grey matter of the cerebral cortex that send their nerve fibres to a deep brain nucleus called the thalamus have e molecule that can be used to switch on and off certain genes in a genetically modified mouse. In this publication we show that a second type of neuron also have this molecule. This type of nerve cell is at a quite unusual location: the white matter. If we compare the brain to a landscape, the grey matter that has the neurons will be the cities and the white matter that has the nerve fibres will be the highways that connects these cities. However, a few nerve cells can be found among the nerve fibres in the white matter. Their function is a mystery to us.

Why is it important?

Until now we have only known of one type of nerve cell that is affected in this type of genetically modified mouse. Now we know of a second type. This is important information for understanding the results that researchers get from experiments made with this mouse.


Dr Björn Granseth
Linköpings universitet

We do not know the function of this second type off neurons. They are at a strategic position, very close to the nerve fibers in the white matter, just like advertisement banners along the highways. Maybe carefully designed experiments can be performed in this mouse to make us understand what it does.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Björn Granseth