Mouse telomerase reverse transcriptase (mTERT) is a gene that is expressed by cells that need to continually divide without the characteristic shortening of telomeres that accompanies DNA replication. Here we provide experimental evidence for mTERT as a novel and unique marker of adult neural stem cells (ANSCs). We use a triple transgenic mouse line that is designed so that mTERT-positive cells will glow green, via Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), when the animal ingests doxycycline. This inducible model allows mTERT positive cells to be tracked and identified easily. Dissociated brain tissues were taken from these animals and sorted via a Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorter into GFP-positive and GFP-negative cells. GFP+ cells were shown to exhibit similar gene expression patterns to that of ANSCs. For further support, the triple transgenic animals were exposed to known neurogenic stimuli, namely exercise and fasting. The brains of these animals were eventually removed, sliced, immuno-stained and imaged using a fluorescent microscope. Imaging allowed us to identify mTERT+ cells in the choroid plexus, but not in the hippocampus, a classic neurogenic niche.
Curtis, Caroline Dean, "Providing Experimental Support for Mtert as an Adult Neural Stem Cell Marker Using a Triple Transgenic Mouse Line" (2017). Honors College. 448.