A DNA construct containing the bacterial beta-galactosidase gene (lacZ) was used to study somatic DNA recombination in the transgenic mouse brain. Recombination-positive areas of the adult brain were stained blue with X-gal, a substrate of beta-galactosidase. Blue-colored cells appeared soon after birth, and continued to emerge in postnatal tissue. Staining was prominent in sensory as opposed to motor regions of the brain, and was present in more than 70 discrete areas of the nervous system. The possibility of DNA rearrangement is discussed with respect to the development of the central nervous system.

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