Mice, and more mice!

The Allen Institute works with the mouse as a model for brain research, to gain insight into the molecular and structural underpinnings of cell-level function. Many people are aware that the classic Allen Mouse Brain Atlas provides genome-wide expression data for a ‘normal’ adult, wild-type laboratory strain of mouse, C57Bl6/J. But did you know there is some comparative data for other laboratory mouse strains as well?

Other projects have necessitated the creation of transgenic lines, with specific drivers or reporters that can be used to help us focus our research on individual classes of cells in the brain. The Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas includes data from C57Bl6/J mice, as well as hundreds of different transgenic reporter lines. The downloadable Technical Documentation provides more information about the creation of these lines, and a summary page of phenotypic characteristics is available for both driver and reporter lines.

Other projects at the Allen Institute also rely on transgenic technology (such as the Allen Brain Observatory - Visual Coding project), and a full list of mouse lines we have generated is available on the Transgenic Toolkit site, which includes links to characterization data and corresponding publications describing the creation and usage of the lines - and information on how to access these lines for your own research.

We’d love to learn about the use of mouse lines originating from the Allen Institute, or what lines you think would be valuable to the broader community!