While Cre-dependent viral systems permit the manipulation of many neuron types, some cell populations cannot be targeted by a single DNA recombinase. Although the combined use of Flp and Cre recombinases can overcome this limitation, insufficient recombinase activity can reduce the efficacy of existing Cre+Flp-dependent viral systems. We developed a sensitive dual recombinase-activated viral approach: tTA-driven Recombinase-Guided Intersectional Targeting (tTARGIT) AAVs. tTARGIT AAVs utilize a Flp-dependent tetracycline transactivator (tTA) 'Driver' AAV and a tetracycline response element (TRE)-driven, Cre-dependent 'Payload' AAV to express the transgene of interest. We employed this system in Slc17a6FlpO;LeprCre mice to manipulate LepRb neurons of the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH; LepRbVMH neurons) while omitting neighboring LepRb populations. We defined the circuitry of LepRbVMH neurons and roles for these cells in the control of food intake and energy expenditure. Thus, the tTARGIT system mediates robust recombinase-sensitive transgene expression, permitting the precise manipulation of previously intractable neural populations.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files
- Paul V Sabatini
- Jine Wang
- David P Olson
- Martin G Myers Jr
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Richard D Palmiter, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Washington, United States
© 2021, Sabatini et al.
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