Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Expression of liver fatty acid-binding protein/human growth hormone fusion genes within the enterocyte and enteroendocrine cell populations of fetal transgenic mice.

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Carrier-Proteins: ge, me, Epithelium: me, Fatty-Acids: me, Fetus, Immunohistochemistry, Intestines: me, Liver: me, Mice, Mice-Transgenic, Secretin: me, Serotonin: me, Somatotropin: ge, me, Substance-P: me, SUPPORT-NON-U-S-GOVT, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

JAX Source

J Biol Chem 1991 Mar 25; 266(9):5949-54.


DK30292, DK37960


The intestinal epithelium establishes and maintains a precise spatial organization despite its continuous and rapid renewal. We have used transgenic mice containing liver fatty acid-binding protein/human growth hormone (L-FABP/hGH) fusion genes to begin to define the molecular mechanisms which are responsible for appropriate regional and cell-specific expression of genes in the gut. Multilabel immunocytochemical methods were employed to characterize the patterns of expression of two transgenes in the enteroendocrine and enterocytic populations of late gestation fetal mice at the time of initial cytodifferentiation of the gastrointestinal epithelium (fetal days 16-19). Surveys of the enteroendocrine cell population using a panel of antibodies directed against 11 neuroendocrine products revealed that these cells are scarce prior to fetal day 17, show a progressive increase in number through day 19, and while the relative proportion of subpopulations (defined by their principal peptide product) are somewhat different than in adults, their geographic distribution along the duodenal to colonic and intervillus(crypt) to villus axes are very similar to that encountered in adult (2-5 month old) mice. Immunoreactive L-FABP is first detectable at fetal day 17 and at this time of first appearance shows an adult pattern of regional enterocytic expression: i.e. it is present in cells overlying nascent villi but not those in the intervillus zone, it is highest in proximal small bowel, declines distally, and is absent from colonocytes. Colocalization studies indicate that L-FABP is not present in enteroendocrine cells during fetal life. Mapping studies indicate that nucleotides -596 to +21 of the rat L-FABP gene are sufficient to reproduce an appropriate temporal, cellular, and regional pattern of reporter (hGH) expression in fetal transgenic mice (with the exception that a subset(s) of enteroendocrine cells, typically containing immunoreactive gastric inhibitory peptide, support transgene but not L-FABP expression). This is in marked contrast to adult transgenic mice where inappropriate hGH accumulation occurs in crypt-associated epithelial cells, in colonocytes, and in many enteroendocrine populations. These studies indicate the importance of considering developmental stage when interpreting the results of any mapping study of cis-acting elements that regulate cell-specific and regional expression of genes in the perpetually renewing intestinal epithelium. Moreover, they also raise the possibility of using transgenes to define fundamental temporal changes in the gut's epithelial cell populations.

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