Deisseroth focuses on developing molecular and cellular tools to observe, perturb, and re-engineer brain circuits. His laboratory is based in the James H. Clark Center at Stanford and employs a range of techniques including neural stem cell and tissue engineering methods, electrophysiology, molecular biology, neural activity imaging, animal behavior, and computational neural network modeling. Also a clinician in the psychiatry department, Dr. Deisseroth employs novel electromagnetic brain stimulation techniques in human patients for therapeutic purposes.
Honors & Awards
Outstanding Resident, National Institute of Mental Health (2002)
Culpeper Scholar Award, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Goldman Philanthropic Partnerships (2004)
Early Career Translational Research Award, Coulter Foundation (2005)
Director's Pioneer Award, National Institutes of Health (2005)
Klingenstein Fellowship, Klingenstein Foundation (2005)
McKnight Foundation Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award, McKnight Foundation (2005)
Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE), NIH (2006)
McKnight Foundation Scholar Award, McKnight Foundation (2007)
Schuetze Prize in Neurobiology, Columbia University (2008)
Lawrence C. Katz Prize in Neurobiology, Duke University (2008)
Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
Member, Institute of Medicine (2011 - Present)
Member, National Academy of Sciences (2012 - Present)
Residency:Stanford University School of Medicine (2004) CA
Internship:Stanford University School of Medicine (2001) CA
Board Certification: Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (2006)
Medical Education:Stanford University School of Medicine (2000) CA
Ph.D., Stanford University, Neuroscience (1998)
M.D., Stanford University (2000)
A.B., Harvard, Biochemical Sciences (1992)
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Research in Dr. Deisseroth's laboratory focuses on developing optical, molecular and cellular tools to observe, perturb, and re-engineer brain circuits. His laboratory is based in the James H. Clark Center at Stanford and has developed optogenetic and tissue engineering methods, employing techniques spanning electrophysiology, molecular biology, optics, neural activity imaging, animal behavior, and computational neural network modeling. Also a physician in the psychiatry department, Professor Deisseroth employs novel electromagnetic brain stimulation techniques in human patients for therapeutic purposes.
- Principles and Practice of Optogenetics for Optical Control of Biological Tissues
BIOE 291 (Aut)
- Systems Physiology and Design
BIOE 103B (Spr)
Independent Studies (11)
- Bioengineering Problems and Experimental Investigation
BIOE 191 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Directed Investigation
BIOE 392 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Directed Reading in Neurosciences
NEPR 299 (Aut)
- Directed Reading in Psychiatry
PSYC 299 (Aut)
- Directed Study
BIOE 391 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Graduate Research
NEPR 399 (Aut)
- Graduate Research
PSYC 399 (Aut)
- Medical Scholars Research
PSYC 370 (Aut)
- Out-of-Department Advanced Research Laboratory in Experimental Biology
BIO 199X (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Teaching in Psychiatry
PSYC 290 (Aut)
- Undergraduate Research
PSYC 199 (Aut)
- Bioengineering Problems and Experimental Investigation
Prior Year Courses
- Principles and Practice of Optogenetics for Optical Control of Biological Tissues
BIOE 291 (Aut)
- Systems Physiology and Design
BIOE 103 (Spr)
- Systems Physiology and Design
BIOE 103B (Spr)
- Principles and Practice of Optogenetics for Optical Control of Biological Tissues
BIOE 291 (Aut)
- Systems Physiology and Design
BIOE 103 (Spr)
- Principles and Practice of Optogenetics for Optical Control of Biological Tissues
BIOE 291 (Aut)
- Systems Physiology and Design
BIOE 103 (Spr)
- Principles and Practice of Optogenetics for Optical Control of Biological Tissues
Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Lief Fenno, Joshua Jennings, Talia Lerner, Matthew Lovett-Barron, Priyamvada Rajasethupathy, Emily Sylwestrak, Huiliang(Evan) Wang, Xiao Wang
Doctoral Dissertation Co-Advisor (AC)
Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
Postdoctoral Research Mentor
Avishek Adhikari, Aaron Andalman, Andre Berndt, Carrie Holmberg, Soo Yeun Lee, Xiao Wang, Matthew Wright
Graduate and Fellowship Programs
Structural and molecular interrogation of intact biological systems.
2013; 497 (7449): 332-337
Obtaining high-resolution information from a complex system, while maintaining the global perspective needed to understand system function, represents a key challenge in biology. Here we address this challenge with a method (termed CLARITY) for the transformation of intact tissue into a nanoporous hydrogel-hybridized form (crosslinked to a three-dimensional network of hydrophilic polymers) that is fully assembled but optically transparent and macromolecule-permeable. Using mouse brains, we show intact-tissue imaging of long-range projections, local circuit wiring, cellular relationships, subcellular structures, protein complexes, nucleic acids and neurotransmitters. CLARITY also enables intact-tissue in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry with multiple rounds of staining and de-staining in non-sectioned tissue, and antibody labelling throughout the intact adult mouse brain. Finally, we show that CLARITY enables fine structural analysis of clinical samples, including non-sectioned human tissue from a neuropsychiatric-disease setting, establishing a path for the transmutation of human tissue into a stable, intact and accessible form suitable for probing structural and molecular underpinnings of physiological function and disease.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature12107
View details for PubMedID 23575631
Diverging neural pathways assemble a behavioural state from separable features in anxiety
2013; 496 (7444): 219-223
Behavioural states in mammals, such as the anxious state, are characterized by several features that are coordinately regulated by diverse nervous system outputs, ranging from behavioural choice patterns to changes in physiology (in anxiety, exemplified respectively by risk-avoidance and respiratory rate alterations). Here we investigate if and how defined neural projections arising from a single coordinating brain region in mice could mediate diverse features of anxiety. Integrating behavioural assays, in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology, respiratory physiology and optogenetics, we identify a surprising new role for the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) in the coordinated modulation of diverse anxiety features. First, two BNST subregions were unexpectedly found to exert opposite effects on the anxious state: oval BNST activity promoted several independent anxious state features, whereas anterodorsal BNST-associated activity exerted anxiolytic influence for the same features. Notably, we found that three distinct anterodorsal BNST efferent projections-to the lateral hypothalamus, parabrachial nucleus and ventral tegmental area-each implemented an independent feature of anxiolysis: reduced risk-avoidance, reduced respiratory rate, and increased positive valence, respectively. Furthermore, selective inhibition of corresponding circuit elements in freely moving mice showed opposing behavioural effects compared with excitation, and in vivo recordings during free behaviour showed native spiking patterns in anterodorsal BNST neurons that differentiated safe and anxiogenic environments. These results demonstrate that distinct BNST subregions exert opposite effects in modulating anxiety, establish separable anxiolytic roles for different anterodorsal BNST projections, and illustrate circuit mechanisms underlying selection of features for the assembly of the anxious state.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature12018
View details for Web of Science ID 000317346300041
Dopamine neurons modulate neural encoding and expression of depression-related behaviour
2013; 493 (7433): 537-?
Major depression is characterized by diverse debilitating symptoms that include hopelessness and anhedonia. Dopamine neurons involved in reward and motivation are among many neural populations that have been hypothesized to be relevant, and certain antidepressant treatments, including medications and brain stimulation therapies, can influence the complex dopamine system. Until now it has not been possible to test this hypothesis directly, even in animal models, as existing therapeutic interventions are unable to specifically target dopamine neurons. Here we investigated directly the causal contributions of defined dopamine neurons to multidimensional depression-like phenotypes induced by chronic mild stress, by integrating behavioural, pharmacological, optogenetic and electrophysiological methods in freely moving rodents. We found that bidirectional control (inhibition or excitation) of specified midbrain dopamine neurons immediately and bidirectionally modulates (induces or relieves) multiple independent depression symptoms caused by chronic stress. By probing the circuit implementation of these effects, we observed that optogenetic recruitment of these dopamine neurons potently alters the neural encoding of depression-related behaviours in the downstream nucleus accumbens of freely moving rodents, suggesting that processes affecting depression symptoms may involve alterations in the neural encoding of action in limbic circuitry.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature11740
View details for Web of Science ID 000313871400039
View details for PubMedID 23235822
A prefrontal cortex-brainstem neuronal projection that controls response to behavioural challenge
2012; 492 (7429): 428-432
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to participate in high-level control of the generation of behaviours (including the decision to execute actions); indeed, imaging and lesion studies in human beings have revealed that PFC dysfunction can lead to either impulsive states with increased tendency to initiate action, or to amotivational states characterized by symptoms such as reduced activity, hopelessness and depressed mood. Considering the opposite valence of these two phenotypes as well as the broad complexity of other tasks attributed to PFC, we sought to elucidate the PFC circuitry that favours effortful behavioural responses to challenging situations. Here we develop and use a quantitative method for the continuous assessment and control of active response to a behavioural challenge, synchronized with single-unit electrophysiology and optogenetics in freely moving rats. In recording from the medial PFC (mPFC), we observed that many neurons were not simply movement-related in their spike-firing patterns but instead were selectively modulated from moment to moment, according to the animal's decision to act in a challenging situation. Surprisingly, we next found that direct activation of principal neurons in the mPFC had no detectable causal effect on this behaviour. We tested whether this behaviour could be causally mediated by only a subclass of mPFC cells defined by specific downstream wiring. Indeed, by leveraging optogenetic projection-targeting to control cells with specific efferent wiring patterns, we found that selective activation of those mPFC cells projecting to the brainstem dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), a serotonergic nucleus implicated in major depressive disorder, induced a profound, rapid and reversible effect on selection of the active behavioural state. These results may be of importance in understanding the neural circuitry underlying normal and pathological patterns of action selection and motivation in behaviour.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature11617
View details for Web of Science ID 000312488200056
View details for PubMedID 23160494
Crystal structure of the channelrhodopsin light-gated cation channel
2012; 482 (7385): 369-U115
Channelrhodopsins (ChRs) are light-gated cation channels derived from algae that have shown experimental utility in optogenetics; for example, neurons expressing ChRs can be optically controlled with high temporal precision within systems as complex as freely moving mammals. Although ChRs have been broadly applied to neuroscience research, little is known about the molecular mechanisms by which these unusual and powerful proteins operate. Here we present the crystal structure of a ChR (a C1C2 chimaera between ChR1 and ChR2 from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) at 2.3?Å resolution. The structure reveals the essential molecular architecture of ChRs, including the retinal-binding pocket and cation conduction pathway. This integration of structural and electrophysiological analyses provides insight into the molecular basis for the remarkable function of ChRs, and paves the way for the precise and principled design of ChR variants with novel properties.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature10870
View details for Web of Science ID 000300287100039
View details for PubMedID 22266941
The Microbial Opsin Family of Optogenetic Tools
2011; 147 (7): 1446-1457
The capture and utilization of light is an exquisitely evolved process. The single-component microbial opsins, although more limited than multicomponent cascades in processing, display unparalleled compactness and speed. Recent advances in understanding microbial opsins have been driven by molecular engineering for optogenetics and by comparative genomics. Here we provide a Primer on these light-activated ion channels and pumps, describe a group of opsins bridging prior categories, and explore the convergence of molecular engineering and genomic discovery for the utilization and understanding of these remarkable molecular machines.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2011.12.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000298403400011
View details for PubMedID 22196724
Neocortical excitation/inhibition balance in information processing and social dysfunction
2011; 477 (7363): 171-178
Severe behavioural deficits in psychiatric diseases such as autism and schizophrenia have been hypothesized to arise from elevations in the cellular balance of excitation and inhibition (E/I balance) within neural microcircuitry. This hypothesis could unify diverse streams of pathophysiological and genetic evidence, but has not been susceptible to direct testing. Here we design and use several novel optogenetic tools to causally investigate the cellular E/I balance hypothesis in freely moving mammals, and explore the associated circuit physiology. Elevation, but not reduction, of cellular E/I balance within the mouse medial prefrontal cortex was found to elicit a profound impairment in cellular information processing, associated with specific behavioural impairments and increased high-frequency power in the 30-80?Hz range, which have both been observed in clinical conditions in humans. Consistent with the E/I balance hypothesis, compensatory elevation of inhibitory cell excitability partially rescued social deficits caused by E/I balance elevation. These results provide support for the elevated cellular E/I balance hypothesis of severe neuropsychiatric disease-related symptoms.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature10360
View details for Web of Science ID 000294603900027
View details for PubMedID 21796121
Optogenetics in Neural Systems
2011; 71 (1): 9-34
Both observational and perturbational technologies are essential for advancing the understanding of brain function and dysfunction. But while observational techniques have greatly advanced in the last century, techniques for perturbation that are matched to the speed and heterogeneity of neural systems have lagged behind. The technology of optogenetics represents a step toward addressing this disparity. Reliable and targetable single-component tools (which encompass both light sensation and effector function within a single protein) have enabled versatile new classes of investigation in the study of neural systems. Here we provide a primer on the application of optogenetics in neuroscience, focusing on the single-component tools and highlighting important problems, challenges, and technical considerations.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.06.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000292806200004
View details for PubMedID 21745635
Amygdala circuitry mediating reversible and bidirectional control of anxiety
2011; 471 (7338): 358-362
Anxiety--a sustained state of heightened apprehension in the absence of immediate threat--becomes severely debilitating in disease states. Anxiety disorders represent the most common of psychiatric diseases (28% lifetime prevalence) and contribute to the aetiology of major depression and substance abuse. Although it has been proposed that the amygdala, a brain region important for emotional processing, has a role in anxiety, the neural mechanisms that control anxiety remain unclear. Here we explore the neural circuits underlying anxiety-related behaviours by using optogenetics with two-photon microscopy, anxiety assays in freely moving mice, and electrophysiology. With the capability of optogenetics to control not only cell types but also specific connections between cells, we observed that temporally precise optogenetic stimulation of basolateral amygdala (BLA) terminals in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA)--achieved by viral transduction of the BLA with a codon-optimized channelrhodopsin followed by restricted illumination in the downstream CeA--exerted an acute, reversible anxiolytic effect. Conversely, selective optogenetic inhibition of the same projection with a third-generation halorhodopsin (eNpHR3.0) increased anxiety-related behaviours. Importantly, these effects were not observed with direct optogenetic control of BLA somata, possibly owing to recruitment of antagonistic downstream structures. Together, these results implicate specific BLA-CeA projections as critical circuit elements for acute anxiety control in the mammalian brain, and demonstrate the importance of optogenetically targeting defined projections, beyond simply targeting cell types, in the study of circuit function relevant to neuropsychiatric disease.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature09820
View details for Web of Science ID 000288444000041
View details for PubMedID 21389985
The Development and Application of Optogenetics
ANNUAL REVIEW OF NEUROSCIENCE, VOL 34
2011; 34: 389-412
Genetically encoded, single-component optogenetic tools have made a significant impact on neuroscience, enabling specific modulation of selected cells within complex neural tissues. As the optogenetic toolbox contents grow and diversify, the opportunities for neuroscience continue to grow. In this review, we outline the development of currently available single-component optogenetic tools and summarize the application of various optogenetic tools in diverse model organisms.
View details for DOI 10.1146/annurev-neuro-061010-113817
View details for Web of Science ID 000293772100017
View details for PubMedID 21692661
- Optogenetics NATURE METHODS 2011; 8 (1): 26-29
Cholinergic Interneurons Control Local Circuit Activity and Cocaine Conditioning
2010; 330 (6011): 1677-1681
Cholinergic neurons are widespread, and pharmacological modulation of acetylcholine receptors affects numerous brain processes, but such modulation entails side effects due to limitations in specificity for receptor type and target cell. As a result, causal roles of cholinergic neurons in circuits have been unclear. We integrated optogenetics, freely moving mammalian behavior, in vivo electrophysiology, and slice physiology to probe the cholinergic interneurons of the nucleus accumbens by direct excitation or inhibition. Despite representing less than 1% of local neurons, these cholinergic cells have dominant control roles, exerting powerful modulation of circuit activity. Furthermore, these neurons could be activated by cocaine, and silencing this drug-induced activity during cocaine exposure (despite the fact that the manipulation of the cholinergic interneurons was not aversive by itself) blocked cocaine conditioning in freely moving mammals.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1193771
View details for Web of Science ID 000285390500067
View details for PubMedID 21164015
Parvalbumin neurons and gamma rhythms enhance cortical circuit performance
2009; 459 (7247): 698-702
Synchronized oscillations and inhibitory interneurons have important and interconnected roles within cortical microcircuits. In particular, interneurons defined by the fast-spiking phenotype and expression of the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin have been suggested to be involved in gamma (30-80 Hz) oscillations, which are hypothesized to enhance information processing. However, because parvalbumin interneurons cannot be selectively controlled, definitive tests of their functional significance in gamma oscillations, and quantitative assessment of the impact of parvalbumin interneurons and gamma oscillations on cortical circuits, have been lacking despite potentially enormous significance (for example, abnormalities in parvalbumin interneurons may underlie altered gamma-frequency synchronization and cognition in schizophrenia and autism). Here we use a panel of optogenetic technologies in mice to selectively modulate multiple distinct circuit elements in neocortex, alone or in combination. We find that inhibiting parvalbumin interneurons suppresses gamma oscillations in vivo, whereas driving these interneurons (even by means of non-rhythmic principal cell activity) is sufficient to generate emergent gamma-frequency rhythmicity. Moreover, gamma-frequency modulation of excitatory input in turn was found to enhance signal transmission in neocortex by reducing circuit noise and amplifying circuit signals, including inputs to parvalbumin interneurons. As demonstrated here, optogenetics opens the door to a new kind of informational analysis of brain function, permitting quantitative delineation of the functional significance of individual elements in the emergent operation and function of intact neural circuitry.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature07991
View details for Web of Science ID 000266608600043
View details for PubMedID 19396159
Driving fast-spiking cells induces gamma rhythm and controls sensory responses
2009; 459 (7247): 663-U63
Cortical gamma oscillations (20-80 Hz) predict increases in focused attention, and failure in gamma regulation is a hallmark of neurological and psychiatric disease. Current theory predicts that gamma oscillations are generated by synchronous activity of fast-spiking inhibitory interneurons, with the resulting rhythmic inhibition producing neural ensemble synchrony by generating a narrow window for effective excitation. We causally tested these hypotheses in barrel cortex in vivo by targeting optogenetic manipulation selectively to fast-spiking interneurons. Here we show that light-driven activation of fast-spiking interneurons at varied frequencies (8-200 Hz) selectively amplifies gamma oscillations. In contrast, pyramidal neuron activation amplifies only lower frequency oscillations, a cell-type-specific double dissociation. We found that the timing of a sensory input relative to a gamma cycle determined the amplitude and precision of evoked responses. Our data directly support the fast-spiking-gamma hypothesis and provide the first causal evidence that distinct network activity states can be induced in vivo by cell-type-specific activation.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature08002
View details for Web of Science ID 000266608600035
View details for PubMedID 19396156
Phasic Firing in Dopaminergic Neurons Is Sufficient for Behavioral Conditioning
2009; 324 (5930): 1080-1084
Natural rewards and drugs of abuse can alter dopamine signaling, and ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopaminergic neurons are known to fire action potentials tonically or phasically under different behavioral conditions. However, without technology to control specific neurons with appropriate temporal precision in freely behaving mammals, the causal role of these action potential patterns in driving behavioral changes has been unclear. We used optogenetic tools to selectively stimulate VTA dopaminergic neuron action potential firing in freely behaving mammals. We found that phasic activation of these neurons was sufficient to drive behavioral conditioning and elicited dopamine transients with magnitudes not achieved by longer, lower-frequency spiking. These results demonstrate that phasic dopaminergic activity is sufficient to mediate mammalian behavioral conditioning.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1168878
View details for Web of Science ID 000266246700044
View details for PubMedID 19389999
Temporally precise in vivo control of intracellular signalling
2009; 458 (7241): 1025-1029
In the study of complex mammalian behaviours, technological limitations have prevented spatiotemporally precise control over intracellular signalling processes. Here we report the development of a versatile family of genetically encoded optical tools ('optoXRs') that leverage common structure-function relationships among G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to recruit and control, with high spatiotemporal precision, receptor-initiated biochemical signalling pathways. In particular, we have developed and characterized two optoXRs that selectively recruit distinct, targeted signalling pathways in response to light. The two optoXRs exerted opposing effects on spike firing in nucleus accumbens in vivo, and precisely timed optoXR photostimulation in nucleus accumbens by itself sufficed to drive conditioned place preference in freely moving mice. The optoXR approach allows testing of hypotheses regarding the causal impact of biochemical signalling in behaving mammals, in a targetable and temporally precise manner.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature07926
View details for Web of Science ID 000265412900042
View details for PubMedID 19295515
Optical Deconstruction of Parkinsonian Neural Circuitry
2009; 324 (5925): 354-359
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a therapeutic option for intractable neurological and psychiatric disorders, including Parkinson's disease and major depression. Because of the heterogeneity of brain tissues where electrodes are placed, it has been challenging to elucidate the relevant target cell types or underlying mechanisms of DBS. We used optogenetics and solid-state optics to systematically drive or inhibit an array of distinct circuit elements in freely moving parkinsonian rodents and found that therapeutic effects within the subthalamic nucleus can be accounted for by direct selective stimulation of afferent axons projecting to this region. In addition to providing insight into DBS mechanisms, these results demonstrate an optical approach for dissection of disease circuitry and define the technological toolbox needed for systematic deconstruction of disease circuits by selectively controlling individual components.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1167093
View details for Web of Science ID 000265221600033
View details for PubMedID 19299587
- OPTOGENETICS. Expanding the optogenetics toolkit. Science 2015; 349 (6248): 590-591
- Self-Tracking Energy Transfer for Neural Stimulation in Untethered Mice PHYSICAL REVIEW APPLIED 2015; 4 (2)
- Intact-Brain Analyses Reveal Distinct Information Carried by SNc Dopamine Subcircuits CELL 2015; 162 (3): 635-647
- Ca(V)3.2 calcium channels control NMDA receptor-mediated transmission: a new mechanism for absence epilepsy GENES & DEVELOPMENT 2015; 29 (14): 1535-1551
Excitatory transmission at thalamo-striatal synapses mediates susceptibility to social stress.
2015; 18 (7): 962-964
Postsynaptic remodeling of glutamatergic synapses on ventral striatum (vSTR) medium spiny neurons (MSNs) is critical for shaping stress responses. However, it is unclear which presynaptic inputs are involved. Susceptible mice exhibited increased synaptic strength at intralaminar thalamus (ILT), but not prefrontal cortex (PFC), inputs to vSTR MSNs following chronic social stress. Modulation of ILT-vSTR versus PFC-vSTR neuronal activity differentially regulated dendritic spine plasticity and social avoidance.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.4034
View details for PubMedID 26030846
- Excitatory transmission at thalamo-striatal synapses mediates susceptibility to social stress NATURE NEUROSCIENCE 2015; 18 (7): 962-?
- Molecular Dynamics of Channelrhodopsin at the Early Stages of Channel Opening PLOS ONE 2015; 10 (6)
- Basolateral amygdala bidirectionally modulates stress-induced hippocampal learning and memory deficits through a p25/Cdk5-dependent pathway PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 2015; 112 (23): 7291-7296
- Optogenetics and the circuit dynamics of psychiatric disease. JAMA 2015; 313 (20): 2019-2020
The BRAIN Initiative: developing technology to catalyse neuroscience discovery
PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
2015; 370 (1668): 8-19
The evolution of the field of neuroscience has been propelled by the advent of novel technological capabilities, and the pace at which these capabilities are being developed has accelerated dramatically in the past decade. Capitalizing on this momentum, the United States launched the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative to develop and apply new tools and technologies for revolutionizing our understanding of the brain. In this article, we review the scientific vision for this initiative set forth by the National Institutes of Health and discuss its implications for the future of neuroscience research. Particular emphasis is given to its potential impact on the mapping and study of neural circuits, and how this knowledge will transform our understanding of the complexity of the human brain and its diverse array of behaviours, perceptions, thoughts and emotions.
View details for DOI 10.1098/rstb.2014.0164
View details for Web of Science ID 000354071400002
Mesolimbic Dopamine Dynamically Tracks, and Is Causally Linked to, Discrete Aspects of Value-Based Decision Making
2015; 77 (10): 903-911
To make appropriate choices, organisms must weigh the costs and benefits of potential valuable outcomes, a process known to involve the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and its dopaminergic input. However, it is currently unknown if dopamine dynamically tracks alterations in expected reward value online as behavioral preferences change and if so, if it is causally linked to specific components of value such as reward magnitude and/or delay to reinforcement.Electrochemical methods were used to measure subsecond NAc dopamine release during a delay discounting task where magnitude was fixed but delay varied across blocks (n = 7 rats). Next, to assess whether this dopamine signaling was causally related to specific components of choice behavior, we employed selective optogenetic stimulation of dopamine terminals in the NAc using a modified delay discounting task in which both delay and magnitude varied independently (n = 23 rats).Cues predictive of available choices evoked dopamine release that scaled with the rat's preferred choices and dynamically shifted as delay to reinforcement for the large reward increased. In the second experiment, dopamine signaling was causally related to features of decision making, as optogenetically enhanced dopamine release within the NAc during predictive cue presentation was sufficient to alter subsequent value-related choices. Importantly, this dopamine-mediated shift in choice was limited to delay-based, but not magnitude-based, decisions.These findings indicate that NAc dopamine dynamically tracks delay discounting and establishes a causal role for this signaling in a subset of value-based associative strategies.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.10.024
View details for Web of Science ID 000353559600010
View details for PubMedID 25541492
Chronic Optogenetic Activation Augments A beta Pathology in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer Disease
2015; 11 (6): 859-865
In vivo experimental evidence indicates that acute neuronal activation increases Aβ release from presynaptic terminals, whereas long-term effects of chronic synaptic activation on Aβ pathology remain unclear. To address this issue, we adopted optogenetics and transduced stabilized step-function opsin, a channelrhodopsin engineered to elicit a long-lasting neuronal hyperexcitability, into the hippocampal perforant pathway of APP transgenic mice. In vivo microdialysis revealed a ∼24% increase in the hippocampal interstitial fluid Aβ42 levels immediately after acute light activation. Five months of chronic optogenetic stimulation increased Aβ burden specifically in the projection area of the perforant pathway (i.e., outer molecular layer of the dentate gyrus) of the stimulated side by ∼2.5-fold compared with that in the contralateral side. Epileptic seizures were observed during the course of chronic stimulation, which might have partly contributed to the Aβ pathology. These findings implicate functional abnormalities of specific neuronal circuitry in Aβ pathology and Alzheimer disease.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.04.017
View details for Web of Science ID 000354406900002
View details for PubMedID 25937280
Ventral hippocampal afferents to the nucleus accumbens regulate susceptibility to depression
Enhanced glutamatergic transmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a region critical for reward and motivation, has been implicated in the pathophysiology of depression; however, the afferent source of this increased glutamate tone is not known. The NAc receives glutamatergic inputs from the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), ventral hippocampus (vHIP) and basolateral amygdala (AMY). Here, we demonstrate that glutamatergic vHIP afferents to NAc regulate susceptibility to chronic social defeat stress (CSDS). We observe reduced activity in vHIP in mice resilient to CSDS. Furthermore, attenuation of vHIP-NAc transmission by optogenetic induction of long-term depression is pro-resilient, whereas acute enhancement of this input is pro-susceptible. This effect is specific to vHIP afferents to the NAc, as optogenetic stimulation of either mPFC or AMY afferents to the NAc is pro-resilient. These data indicate that vHIP afferents to NAc uniquely regulate susceptibility to CSDS, highlighting an important, novel circuit-specific mechanism in depression.
View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms8062
View details for Web of Science ID 000355530900013
View details for PubMedID 25952660
Closed-Loop and Activity-Guided Optogenetic Control
2015; 86 (1): 106-139
Advances in optical manipulation and observation of neural activity have set the stage for widespread implementation of closed-loop and activity-guided optical control of neural circuit dynamics. Closing the loop optogenetically (i.e., basing optogenetic stimulation on simultaneously observed dynamics in a principled way) is a powerful strategy for causal investigation of neural circuitry. In particular, observing and feeding back the effects of circuit interventions on physiologically relevant timescales is valuable for directly testing whether inferred models of dynamics, connectivity, and causation are accurate in vivo. Here we highlight technical and theoretical foundations as well as recent advances and opportunities in this area, and we review in detail the known caveats and limitations of optogenetic experimentation in the context of addressing these challenges with closed-loop optogenetic control in behaving animals.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.03.034
View details for Web of Science ID 000352552900017
View details for PubMedID 25856490
Muscarinic excitation of parvalbumin-positive interneurons contributes to the severity of pilocarpine-induced seizures
2015; 56 (2): 297-309
A common rodent model in epilepsy research employs the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) agonist pilocarpine, yet the mechanisms underlying the induction of pilocarpine-induced seizures (PISs) remain unclear. Global M1 mAChR (M1 R) knockout mice are resistant to PISs, implying that M1 R activation disrupts excitation/inhibition balance. Parvalbumin-positive (PV) inhibitory neurons express M1 Rs, participate in cholinergically induced oscillations, and can enter a state of depolarization block (DB) during epileptiform activity. Here, we test the hypothesis that pilocarpine activation of M1 Rs expressed on PV cells contributes to PISs.CA1 PV cells in PV-CRE mice were visualized with a floxed YFP or hM3Dq-mCherry adeno-associated virus, or by crossing PV-CRE mice with the RosaYFP reporter line. To eliminate M1 Rs from PV cells, we generated PV-M1 knockout (KO) mice by crossing PV-CRE and floxed M1 mice. Action potential (AP) frequency was monitored during application of pilocarpine (200 μm). In behavioral experiments, locomotion and seizure symptoms were recorded in wild-type (WT) or PV-M1 KO mice during PISs.Pilocarpine significantly increased AP frequency in CA1 PV cells into the gamma range. In the continued presence of pilocarpine, a subset (5/7) of PV cells progressed to DB, which was mimicked by hM3Dq activation of Gq-receptor signaling. Pilocarpine-induced depolarization, AP firing at gamma frequency, and progression to DB were prevented in CA1 PV cells of PV-M1 KO mice. Finally, compared to WT mice, PV-M1 KO mice were associated with reduced severity of PISs.Pilocarpine can directly depolarize PV+ cells via M1 R activation, but a subset of these cells progress to DB. Our electrophysiologic and behavioral results suggest that this mechanism is active during PISs, contributing to a collapse of PV-mediated γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic inhibition, dysregulation of excitation/inhibition balance, and increased susceptibility to PISs.
View details for DOI 10.1111/epi.12883
View details for Web of Science ID 000350146300028
View details for PubMedID 25495999
Illuminating circuitry relevant to psychiatric disorders with optogenetics
CURRENT OPINION IN NEUROBIOLOGY
2015; 30: 9-16
The brain's remarkable capacity to generate cognition and behavior is mediated by an extraordinarily complex set of neural interactions that remain largely mysterious. This complexity poses a significant challenge in developing therapeutic interventions to ameliorate psychiatric disease. Accordingly, few new classes of drugs have been made available for patients with mental illness since the 1950s. Optogenetics offers the ability to selectively manipulate individual neural circuit elements that underlie disease-relevant behaviors and is currently accelerating the pace of preclinical research into neurobiological mechanisms of disease. In this review, we highlight recent findings from studies that employ optogenetic approaches to gain insight into normal and aberrant brain function relevant to mental illness. Emerging data from these efforts offers an exquisitely detailed picture of disease-relevant neural circuits in action, and hints at the potential of optogenetics to open up entirely new avenues in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.conb.2014.08.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000348337600002
Visualizing Hypothalamic Network Dynamics for Appetitive and Consummatory Behaviors
2015; 160 (3): 516-527
Optimally orchestrating complex behavioral states, such as the pursuit and consumption of food, is critical for an organism's survival. The lateral hypothalamus (LH) is a neuroanatomical region essential for appetitive and consummatory behaviors, but whether individual neurons within the LH differentially contribute to these interconnected processes is unknown. Here, we show that selective optogenetic stimulation of a molecularly defined subset of LH GABAergic (Vgat-expressing) neurons enhances both appetitive and consummatory behaviors, whereas genetic ablation of these neurons reduced these phenotypes. Furthermore, this targeted LH subpopulation is distinct from cells containing the feeding-related neuropeptides, melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), and orexin (Orx). Employing in vivo calcium imaging in freely behaving mice to record activity dynamics from hundreds of cells, we identified individual LH GABAergic neurons that preferentially encode aspects of either appetitive or consummatory behaviors, but rarely both. These tightly regulated, yet highly intertwined, behavioral processes are thus dissociable at the cellular level.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2014.12.026
View details for Web of Science ID 000349208000016
View details for PubMedID 25635459
Mapping Anatomy to Behavior in Thy1:18 ChR2-YFP Transgenic Mice Using Optogenetics.
Cold Spring Harbor protocols
2015; 2015 (6): pdb prot075598-?
Linking the activity of defined neural populations with behavior is a key goal of neuroscience. In the context of controlling behavior, electrical stimulation affords researchers precision in the temporal domain with gross regional specificity, whereas pharmacology allows for more specific manipulation of cell types, but in the absence of temporal precision. The use of microbial opsins-light activated, genetically encoded ion channels and pumps-to control mammalian neurons now allows researchers to "sensitize" genetically and/or topologically defined populations of neurons to light to induce either depolarization or hyperpolarization in both a cell-type-specific and temporally precise manner not achievable with previous techniques. Here, we describe the use of transgenic mice expressing the blue-light gated cation channel Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) under control of the Thy1 promoter for the purpose of linking neuronal activity to behavior through restricted delivery of light to an anatomic region of interest. The surgical procedure for implanting a fiber-optic light delivery guide into the mouse brain, the process of optically stimulating the brain in a behaving animal, and post hoc evaluation are given, along with necessary reagents and discussion of common technical problems and their solutions.
View details for DOI 10.1101/pdb.prot075598
View details for PubMedID 26034299
Optogenetics in Freely Moving Mammals: Dopamine and Reward.
Cold Spring Harbor protocols
2015; 2015 (8): pdb top086330-?
Brain reward systems play a central role in the cognitive and hedonic behaviors of mammals. Multiple neuron types and brain regions are involved in reward processing, posing fascinating scientific questions, and major experimental challenges. Using diverse approaches including genetics, electrophysiology, imaging, and behavioral analysis, a large body of research has focused on both normal functioning of the reward circuitry and on its potential significance in neuropsychiatric diseases. In this introduction, we illustrate a real-world application of optogenetics to mammalian behavior and physiology, delineating procedures and technologies for optogenetic control of individual components of the reward circuitry. We describe the experimental setup and protocol for integrating optogenetic modulation of dopamine neurons with fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, conditioned place preference, and operant conditioning to assess the causal role of well-defined electrical and biochemical signals in reward-related behavior.
View details for DOI 10.1101/pdb.top086330
View details for PubMedID 26240415
Hebbian and neuromodulatory mechanisms interact to trigger associative memory formation.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
2014; 111 (51): E5584-92
A long-standing hypothesis termed "Hebbian plasticity" suggests that memories are formed through strengthening of synaptic connections between neurons with correlated activity. In contrast, other theories propose that coactivation of Hebbian and neuromodulatory processes produce the synaptic strengthening that underlies memory formation. Using optogenetics we directly tested whether Hebbian plasticity alone is both necessary and sufficient to produce physiological changes mediating actual memory formation in behaving animals. Our previous work with this method suggested that Hebbian mechanisms are sufficient to produce aversive associative learning under artificial conditions involving strong, iterative training. Here we systematically tested whether Hebbian mechanisms are necessary and sufficient to produce associative learning under more moderate training conditions that are similar to those that occur in daily life. We measured neural plasticity in the lateral amygdala, a brain region important for associative memory storage about danger. Our findings provide evidence that Hebbian mechanisms are necessary to produce neural plasticity in the lateral amygdala and behavioral memory formation. However, under these conditions Hebbian mechanisms alone were not sufficient to produce these physiological and behavioral effects unless neuromodulatory systems were coactivated. These results provide insight into how aversive experiences trigger memories and suggest that combined Hebbian and neuromodulatory processes interact to engage associative aversive learning.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1421304111
View details for PubMedID 25489081
Optogenetics reveal delayed afferent synaptogenesis on grafted human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural progenitors.
2014; 32 (12): 3088-3098
Reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotency stem cell state has opened new opportunities in cell replacement therapy and disease modeling in a number of neurological disorders. It still remains unknown, however, to what degree the grafted human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) differentiate into a functional neuronal phenotype and if they integrate into the host circuitry. Here, we present a detailed characterization of the functional properties and synaptic integration of hiPSC-derived neurons grafted in an in vitro model of hyperexcitable epileptic tissue, namely organotypic hippocampal slice cultures (OHSCs), and in adult rats in vivo. The hiPSCs were first differentiated into long-term self-renewing neuroepithelial stem (lt-NES) cells, which are known to form primarily GABAergic neurons. When differentiated in OHSCs for 6 weeks, lt-NES cell-derived neurons displayed neuronal properties such as tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium currents and action potentials (APs), as well as both spontaneous and evoked postsynaptic currents, indicating functional afferent synaptic inputs. The grafted cells had a distinct electrophysiological profile compared to host cells in the OHSCs with higher input resistance, lower resting membrane potential, and APs with lower amplitude and longer duration. To investigate the origin of synaptic afferents to the grafted lt-NES cell-derived neurons, the host neurons were transduced with Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and optogenetically activated by blue light. Simultaneous recordings of synaptic currents in grafted lt-NES cell-derived neurons using whole-cell patch-clamp technique at 6 weeks after grafting revealed limited synaptic connections from host neurons. Longer differentiation times, up to 24 weeks after grafting in vivo, revealed more mature intrinsic properties and extensive synaptic afferents from host neurons to the lt-NES cell-derived neurons, suggesting that these cells require extended time for differentiation/maturation and synaptogenesis. However, even at this later time point, the grafted cells maintained a higher input resistance. These data indicate that grafted lt-NES cell-derived neurons receive ample afferent input from the host brain. Since the lt-NES cells used in this study show a strong propensity for GABAergic differentiation, the host-to-graft synaptic afferents may facilitate inhibitory neurotransmitter release, and normalize hyperexcitable neuronal networks in brain diseases, for example, such as epilepsy.
View details for DOI 10.1002/stem.1823
View details for PubMedID 25183299
- Depression: the best way forward. Nature 2014; 515 (7526): 200-201
Left-right dissociation of hippocampal memory processes in mice.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
2014; 111 (42): 15238-15243
Left-right asymmetries have likely evolved to make optimal use of bilaterian nervous systems; however, little is known about the synaptic and circuit mechanisms that support divergence of function between equivalent structures in each hemisphere. Here we examined whether lateralized hippocampal memory processing is present in mice, where hemispheric asymmetry at the CA3-CA1 pyramidal neuron synapse has recently been demonstrated, with different spine morphology, glutamate receptor content, and synaptic plasticity, depending on whether afferents originate in the left or right CA3. To address this question, we used optogenetics to acutely silence CA3 pyramidal neurons in either the left or right dorsal hippocampus while mice performed hippocampus-dependent memory tasks. We found that unilateral silencing of either the left or right CA3 was sufficient to impair short-term memory. However, a striking asymmetry emerged in long-term memory, wherein only left CA3 silencing impaired performance on an associative spatial long-term memory task, whereas right CA3 silencing had no effect. To explore whether synaptic properties intrinsic to the hippocampus might contribute to this left-right behavioral asymmetry, we investigated the expression of hippocampal long-term potentiation. Following the induction of long-term potentiation by high-frequency electrical stimulation, synapses between CA3 and CA1 pyramidal neurons were strengthened only when presynaptic input originated in the left CA3, confirming an asymmetry in synaptic properties. The dissociation of hippocampal long-term memory function between hemispheres suggests that memory is routed via distinct left-right pathways within the mouse hippocampus, and provides a promising approach to help elucidate the synaptic basis of long-term memory.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1405648111
View details for PubMedID 25246561
- Enhancing the performance of the light field microscope using wavefront coding OPTICS EXPRESS 2014; 22 (20): 24817-24839
- Optogenetic neuronal stimulation promotes functional recovery after stroke PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 2014; 111 (35): 12913-12918
Optogenetic neuronal stimulation promotes functional recovery after stroke.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
2014; 111 (35): 12913-12918
Clinical and research efforts have focused on promoting functional recovery after stroke. Brain stimulation strategies are particularly promising because they allow direct manipulation of the target area's excitability. However, elucidating the cell type and mechanisms mediating recovery has been difficult because existing stimulation techniques nonspecifically target all cell types near the stimulated site. To circumvent these barriers, we used optogenetics to selectively activate neurons that express channelrhodopsin 2 and demonstrated that selective neuronal stimulations in the ipsilesional primary motor cortex (iM1) can promote functional recovery. Stroke mice that received repeated neuronal stimulations exhibited significant improvement in cerebral blood flow and the neurovascular coupling response, as well as increased expression of activity-dependent neurotrophins in the contralesional cortex, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor, nerve growth factor, and neurotrophin 3. Western analysis also indicated that stimulated mice exhibited a significant increase in the expression of a plasticity marker growth-associated protein 43. Moreover, iM1 neuronal stimulations promoted functional recovery, as stimulated stroke mice showed faster weight gain and performed significantly better in sensory-motor behavior tests. Interestingly, stimulations in normal nonstroke mice did not alter motor behavior or neurotrophin expression, suggesting that the prorecovery effect of selective neuronal stimulations is dependent on the poststroke environment. These results demonstrate that stimulation of neurons in the stroke hemisphere is sufficient to promote recovery.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1404109111
View details for PubMedID 25136109
Frequency-Dependent, Cell Type-Divergent Signaling in the Hippocamposeptal Projection
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2014; 34 (35): 11769-11780
Hippocampal oscillations are critical for information processing, and are strongly influenced by inputs from the medial septum. Hippocamposeptal neurons provide direct inhibitory feedback from the hippocampus onto septal cells, and are therefore likely to also play an important role in the circuit; these neurons fire at either low or high frequency, reflecting hippocampal network activity during theta oscillations or ripple events, respectively. Here, we optogenetically target the long-range GABAergic projection from the hippocampus to the medial septum in rats, and thereby simulate hippocampal input onto downstream septal cells in an acute slice preparation. In response to optogenetic activation of hippocamposeptal fibers at theta and ripple frequencies, we elicit postsynaptic GABAergic responses in a subset (24%) of septal cells, most predominantly in fast-spiking cells. In addition, in another subset of septal cells (19%) corresponding primarily to cholinergic cells, we observe a slow hyperpolarization of the resting membrane potential and a decrease in input resistance, particularly in response to prolonged high-frequency (ripple range) stimulation. This slow response is partially sensitive to GIRK channel and D2 dopamine receptor block. Our results suggest that two independent populations of septal cells distinctly encode hippocampal feedback, enabling the septum to monitor ongoing patterns of activity in the hippocampus.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5188-13.2014
View details for Web of Science ID 000341314900025
View details for PubMedID 25164672
Direct excitation of parvalbumin-positive interneurons by M-1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors: roles in cellular excitability, inhibitory transmission and cognition
JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-LONDON
2014; 592 (16): 3463-3494
Parvalbumin-containing (PV) neurons, a major class of GABAergic interneurons, are essential circuit elements of learning networks. As levels of acetylcholine rise during active learning tasks, PV neurons become increasingly engaged in network dynamics. Conversely, impairment of either cholinergic or PV interneuron function induces learning deficits. Here, we examined PV interneurons in hippocampus (HC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) and their modulation by muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs). HC PV cells, visualized by crossing PV-CRE mice with Rosa26YFP mice, were anatomically identified as basket cells and PV bistratified cells in the stratum pyramidale; in stratum oriens, HC PV cells were electrophysiologically distinct from somatostatin-containing cells. With glutamatergic transmission pharmacologically blocked, mAChR activation enhanced PV cell excitability in both CA1 HC and PFC; however, CA1 HC PV cells exhibited a stronger postsynaptic depolarization than PFC PV cells. To delete M1 mAChRs genetically from PV interneurons, we created PV-M1 knockout mice by crossing PV-CRE and floxed M1 mice. The elimination of M1 mAChRs from PV cells diminished M1 mAChR immunoreactivity and muscarinic excitation of HC PV cells. Selective cholinergic activation of HC PV interneurons using Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs technology enhanced the frequency and amplitude of inhibitory synaptic currents in CA1 pyramidal cells. Finally, relative to wild-type controls, PV-M1 knockout mice exhibited impaired novel object recognition and, to a lesser extent, impaired spatial working memory, but reference memory remained intact. Therefore, the direct activation of M1 mAChRs on PV cells contributes to some forms of learning and memory.
View details for DOI 10.1113/jphysiol.2014.275453
View details for Web of Science ID 000340599200014
View details for PubMedID 24879872
- Nucleus Accumbens-Specific Interventions in RGS9-2 Activity Modulate Responses to Morphine NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY 2014; 39 (8): 1968-1977
- Advanced CLARITY for rapid and high-resolution imaging of intact tissues NATURE PROTOCOLS 2014; 9 (7): 1682-1697
- Targeting cells with single vectors using multiple-feature Boolean logic NATURE METHODS 2014; 11 (7): 763-U116
Natural Neural Projection Dynamics Underlying Social Behavior
2014; 157 (7): 1535-1551
Social interaction is a complex behavior essential for many species and is impaired in major neuropsychiatric disorders. Pharmacological studies have implicated certain neurotransmitter systems in social behavior, but circuit-level understanding of endogenous neural activity during social interaction is lacking. We therefore developed and applied a new methodology, termed fiber photometry, to optically record natural neural activity in genetically and connectivity-defined projections to elucidate the real-time role of specified pathways in mammalian behavior. Fiber photometry revealed that activity dynamics of a ventral tegmental area (VTA)-to-nucleus accumbens (NAc) projection could encode and predict key features of social, but not novel object, interaction. Consistent with this observation, optogenetic control of cells specifically contributing to this projection was sufficient to modulate social behavior, which was mediated by type 1 dopamine receptor signaling downstream in the NAc. Direct observation of deep projection-specific activity in this way captures a fundamental and previously inaccessible dimension of mammalian circuit dynamics.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2014.05.017
View details for Web of Science ID 000340941900010
Optogenetic inhibition of chemically induced hypersynchronized bursting in mice.
Neurobiology of disease
2014; 65: 133-141
Synchronized activity is common during various physiological operations but can culminate in seizures and consequently in epilepsy in pathological hyperexcitable conditions in the brain. Many types of seizures are not possible to control and impose significant disability for patients with epilepsy. Such intractable epilepsy cases are often associated with degeneration of inhibitory interneurons in the cortical areas resulting in impaired inhibitory drive onto the principal neurons. Recently emerging optogenetic technique has been proposed as an alternative approach to control such seizures but whether it may be effective in situations where inhibitory processes in the brain are compromised has not been addressed. Here we used pharmacological and optogenetic techniques to block inhibitory neurotransmission and induce epileptiform activity in vitro and in vivo. We demonstrate that NpHR-based optogenetic hyperpolarization and thereby inactivation of a principal neuronal population in the hippocampus is effectively attenuating seizure activity caused by disconnected network inhibition both in vitro and in vivo. Our data suggest that epileptiform activity in the hippocampus caused by impaired inhibition may be controlled by optogenetic silencing of principal neurons and potentially can be developed as an alternative treatment for epilepsy.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.nbd.2014.01.015
View details for PubMedID 24491965
Structure-Guided Transformation of Channelrhodopsin into a Light-Activated Chloride Channel
2014; 344 (6182): 420-424
Using light to silence electrical activity in targeted cells is a major goal of optogenetics. Available optogenetic proteins that directly move ions to achieve silencing are inefficient, pumping only a single ion per photon across the cell membrane rather than allowing many ions per photon to flow through a channel pore. Building on high-resolution crystal-structure analysis, pore vestibule modeling, and structure-guided protein engineering, we designed and characterized a class of channelrhodopsins (originally cation-conducting) converted into chloride-conducting anion channels. These tools enable fast optical inhibition of action potentials and can be engineered to display step-function kinetics for stable inhibition, outlasting light pulses and for orders-of-magnitude-greater light sensitivity of inhibited cells. The resulting family of proteins defines an approach to more physiological, efficient, and sensitive optogenetic inhibition.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1252367
View details for Web of Science ID 000334867800043
- Positive Reinforcement Mediated by Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Requires D1 and D2 Receptor Activation in the Nucleus Accumbens PLOS ONE 2014; 9 (4)
A major external source of cholinergic innervation of the striatum and nucleus accumbens originates in the brainstem.
journal of neuroscience
2014; 34 (13): 4509-4518
Cholinergic transmission in the striatal complex is critical for the modulation of the activity of local microcircuits and dopamine release. Release of acetylcholine has been considered to originate exclusively from a subtype of striatal interneuron that provides widespread innervation of the striatum. Cholinergic neurons of the pedunculopontine (PPN) and laterodorsal tegmental (LDT) nuclei indirectly influence the activity of the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens through their innervation of dopamine and thalamic neurons, which in turn converge at the same striatal levels. Here we show that cholinergic neurons in the brainstem also provide a direct innervation of the striatal complex. By the expression of fluorescent proteins in choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)::Cre(+) transgenic rats, we selectively labeled cholinergic neurons in the rostral PPN, caudal PPN, and LDT. We show that cholinergic neurons topographically innervate wide areas of the striatal complex: rostral PPN preferentially innervates the dorsolateral striatum, and LDT preferentially innervates the medial striatum and nucleus accumbens core in which they principally form asymmetric synapses. Retrograde labeling combined with immunohistochemistry in wild-type rats confirmed the topography and cholinergic nature of the projection. Furthermore, transynaptic gene activation and conventional double retrograde labeling suggest that LDT neurons that innervate the nucleus accumbens also send collaterals to the thalamus and the dopaminergic midbrain, thus providing both direct and indirect projections, to the striatal complex. The differential activity of cholinergic interneurons and cholinergic neurons of the brainstem during reward-related paradigms suggest that the two systems play different but complementary roles in the processing of information in the striatum.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5071-13.2014
View details for PubMedID 24671996
Neuronal calcium-binding proteins 1/2 localize to dorsal root ganglia and excitatory spinal neurons and are regulated by nerve injury
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2014; 111 (12): E1149-E1158
Neuronal calcium (Ca(2+))-binding proteins 1 and 2 (NECAB1/2) are members of the phylogenetically conserved EF-hand Ca(2+)-binding protein superfamily. To date, NECABs have been explored only to a limited extent and, so far, not at all at the spinal level. Here, we describe the distribution, phenotype, and nerve injury-induced regulation of NECAB1/NECAB2 in mouse dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) and spinal cord. In DRGs, NECAB1/2 are expressed in around 70% of mainly small- and medium-sized neurons. Many colocalize with calcitonin gene-related peptide and isolectin B4, and thus represent nociceptors. NECAB1/2 neurons are much more abundant in DRGs than the Ca(2+)-binding proteins (parvalbumin, calbindin, calretinin, and secretagogin) studied to date. In the spinal cord, the NECAB1/2 distribution is mainly complementary. NECAB1 labels interneurons and a plexus of processes in superficial layers of the dorsal horn, commissural neurons in the intermediate area, and motor neurons in the ventral horn. Using CLARITY, a novel, bilaterally connected neuronal system with dendrites that embrace the dorsal columns like palisades is observed. NECAB2 is present in cell bodies and presynaptic boutons across the spinal cord. In the dorsal horn, most NECAB1/2 neurons are glutamatergic. Both NECAB1/2 are transported into dorsal roots and peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerve injury reduces NECAB2, but not NECAB1, expression in DRG neurons. Our study identifies NECAB1/2 as abundant Ca(2+)-binding proteins in pain-related DRG neurons and a variety of spinal systems, providing molecular markers for known and unknown neuron populations of mechanosensory and pain circuits in the spinal cord.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1402318111
View details for Web of Science ID 000333341100013
View details for PubMedID 24616509
Virally mediated optogenetic excitation and inhibition of pain in freely moving nontransgenic mice
2014; 32 (3): 274-278
Primary nociceptors are the first neurons involved in the complex processing system that regulates normal and pathological pain. Because of constraints on pharmacological and electrical stimulation, noninvasive excitation and inhibition of these neurons in freely moving nontransgenic animals has not been possible. Here we use an optogenetic strategy to bidirectionally control nociceptors of nontransgenic mice. Intrasciatic nerve injection of adeno-associated viruses encoding an excitatory opsin enabled light-inducible stimulation of acute pain, place aversion and optogenetically mediated reductions in withdrawal thresholds to mechanical and thermal stimuli. In contrast, viral delivery of an inhibitory opsin enabled light-inducible inhibition of acute pain perception, and reversed mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia in a model of neuropathic pain. Light was delivered transdermally, allowing these behaviors to be induced in freely moving animals. This approach may have utility in basic and translational pain research, and enable rapid drug screening and testing of newly engineered opsins.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nbt.2834
View details for Web of Science ID 000332819800026
View details for PubMedID 24531797
Medial prefrontal D1 dopamine neurons control food intake
2014; 17 (2): 248-253
Although the prefrontal cortex influences motivated behavior, its role in food intake remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate a role for D1-type dopamine receptor-expressing neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in the regulation of feeding. Food intake increases activity in D1 neurons of the mPFC in mice, and optogenetic photostimulation of D1 neurons increases feeding. Conversely, inhibition of D1 neurons decreases intake. Stimulation-based mapping of prefrontal D1 neuron projections implicates the medial basolateral amygdala (mBLA) as a downstream target of these afferents. mBLA neurons activated by prefrontal D1 stimulation are CaMKII positive and closely juxtaposed to prefrontal D1 axon terminals. Finally, photostimulating these axons in the mBLA is sufficient to increase feeding, recapitulating the effects of mPFC D1 stimulation. These data describe a new circuit for top-down control of food intake.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.3625
View details for Web of Science ID 000330910000019
View details for PubMedID 24441680
Circuit dynamics of adaptive and maladaptive behaviour
2014; 505 (7483): 309-317
The recent development of technologies for investigating specific components of intact biological systems has allowed elucidation of the neural circuitry underlying adaptive and maladaptive behaviours. Investigators are now able to observe and control, with high spatio-temporal resolution, structurally defined intact pathways along which electrical activity flows during and after the performance of complex behaviours. These investigations have revealed that control of projection-specific dynamics is well suited to modulating behavioural patterns that are relevant to a broad range of psychiatric diseases. Structural dynamics principles have emerged to provide diverse, unexpected and causal insights into the operation of intact and diseased nervous systems, linking form and function in the brain.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature12982
View details for Web of Science ID 000329621800028
View details for PubMedID 24429629
Human pluripotent stem cell tools for cardiac optogenetics.
Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference
2014; 2014: 6171-6174
It is likely that arrhythmias should be avoided for therapies based on human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes (CM) to be effective. Towards achieving this goal, we introduced light-activated channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), a cation channel activated with 480 nm light, into human embryonic stem cells (hESC). By using in vitro approaches, hESC-CM are able to be activated with light. ChR2 is stably transduced into undifferentiated hESC via a lentiviral vector. Via directed differentiation, hESC(ChR2)-CM are produced and subjected to optical stimulation. hESC(ChR2)-CM respond to traditional electrical stimulation and produce similar contractility features as their wild-type counterparts but only hESC(ChR2)-CM can be activated by optical stimulation. Here it is shown that a light sensitive protein can enable in vitro optical control of hESC-CM and that this activation occurs optimally above specific light stimulation intensity and pulse width thresholds. For future therapy, in vivo optical stimulation along with optical inhibition could allow for acute synchronization of implanted hPSC-CM with patient cardiac rhythms.
View details for DOI 10.1109/EMBC.2014.6945038
View details for PubMedID 25571406
Optical suppression of drug-evoked phasic dopamine release.
Frontiers in neural circuits
2014; 8: 114-?
Brief fluctuations in dopamine concentration (dopamine transients) play a key role in behavior towards rewards, including drugs of abuse. Drug-evoked dopamine transients may result from actions at both dopamine cell bodies and dopamine terminals. Inhibitory opsins can be targeted to dopamine neurons permitting their firing activity to be suppressed. However, as dopamine transients can become uncoupled from firing, it is unknown whether optogenetic hyperpolarization at the level of the soma is able to suppress dopamine transients. Here, we used in vivo fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to record transients evoked by cocaine and raclopride in nucleus accumbens (NAc) of urethane-anesthetized rats. We targeted halorhodopsin (NpHR) specifically to dopamine cells by injecting Cre-inducible virus into ventral tegmental area (VTA) of transgenic rats that expressed Cre recombinase under control of the tyrosine hydroxylase promoter (TH-Cre(+) rats). Consistent with previous work, co-administration of cocaine and raclopride led to the generation of dopamine transients in NAc shell. Illumination of VTA with laser strongly suppressed the frequency of transients in NpHR-expressing rats, but not in control rats. Laser did not have any effect on amplitude of transients. Thus, optogenetics can effectively reduce the occurrence of drug-evoked transients and is therefore a suitable approach for studying the functional role of such transients in drug-associated behavior.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fncir.2014.00114
View details for PubMedID 25278845
Optical Neural Interfaces
ANNUAL REVIEW OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, VOL 16
2014; 16: 103-129
Genetically encoded optical actuators and indicators have changed the landscape of neuroscience, enabling targetable control and readout of specific components of intact neural circuits in behaving animals. Here, we review the development of optical neural interfaces, focusing on hardware designed for optical control of neural activity, integrated optical control and electrical readout, and optical readout of population and single-cell neural activity in freely moving mammals.
View details for DOI 10.1146/annurev-bioeng-071813-104733
View details for Web of Science ID 000348433000005
View details for PubMedID 25014785
Establishing a fiber-optic-based optical neural interface.
Cold Spring Harbor protocols
2014; 2014 (8): pdb prot083337-?
Selective expression of opsins in genetically defined neurons makes it possible to control a subset of neurons without affecting nearby cells and processes in the intact brain, but light must still be delivered to the target brain structure. Light scattering limits the delivery of light from the surface of the brain. For this reason, we have developed a fiber-optic-based optical neural interface (ONI), which allows optical access to any brain structure in freely moving mammals. The ONI system is constructed by modifying the small animal cannula system from PlasticsOne. The system for bilateral stimulation consists of a bilateral cannula guide that has been stereotactically implanted over the target brain region, a screw cap for securing the optical fiber to the animal's head, a fiber guard modified from the internal cannula adapter, and a bare fiber whose length is customized based on the depth of the target region. For unilateral stimulation, a single-fiber system can be constructed using unilateral cannula parts from PlasticsOne. We describe here the preparation of the bilateral ONI system and its use in optical stimulation of the mouse or rat brain. Delivery of opsin-expressing virus and implantation of the ONI may be conducted in the same surgical session; alternatively, with a transgenic animal no opsin virus is delivered during the surgery. Similar procedures are useful for deep or superficial injections (even for neocortical targets, although in some cases surface light-emitting diodes or cortex-apposed fibers can be used for the most superficial cortical targets).
View details for DOI 10.1101/pdb.prot083337
View details for PubMedID 25086020
Positive reinforcement mediated by midbrain dopamine neurons requires D1 and D2 receptor activation in the nucleus accumbens.
2014; 9 (4)
The neural basis of positive reinforcement is often studied in the laboratory using intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS), a simple behavioral model in which subjects perform an action in order to obtain exogenous stimulation of a specific brain area. Recently we showed that activation of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons supports ICSS behavior, consistent with proposed roles of this neural population in reinforcement learning. However, VTA dopamine neurons make connections with diverse brain regions, and the specific efferent target(s) that mediate the ability of dopamine neuron activation to support ICSS have not been definitively demonstrated. Here, we examine in transgenic rats whether dopamine neuron-specific ICSS relies on the connection between the VTA and the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region also implicated in positive reinforcement. We find that optogenetic activation of dopaminergic terminals innervating the NAc is sufficient to drive ICSS, and that ICSS driven by optical activation of dopamine neuron somata in the VTA is significantly attenuated by intra-NAc injections of D1 or D2 receptor antagonists. These data demonstrate that the NAc is a critical efferent target sustaining dopamine neuron-specific ICSS, identify receptor subtypes through which dopamine acts to promote this behavior, and ultimately help to refine our understanding of the neural circuitry mediating positive reinforcement.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0094771
View details for PubMedID 24733061
Dopaminergic Dynamics Contributing to Social Behavior.
Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology
2014; 79: 221-227
Social interaction is a complex behavior that is essential for the survival of many species, and it is impaired in a broad range of neuropsychiatric disorders. Several cortical and subcortical brain regions have been implicated in a variety of sociosexual behaviors, with pharmacological studies pointing to a key role of the neurotransmitter dopamine. However, little is understood about the real-time circuit dynamics causally underlying social interaction. Here, we consider current knowledge on the role of brain reward circuitry in same-sex social behavior and describe findings from new methods for probing how this circuitry governs social motivation in health and disease.
View details for DOI 10.1101/sqb.2014.79.024711
View details for PubMedID 25943769
Causal interactions between fronto-parietal central executive and default-mode networks in humans
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2013; 110 (49): 19944-19949
Information processing during human cognitive and emotional operations is thought to involve the dynamic interplay of several large-scale neural networks, including the fronto-parietal central executive network (CEN), cingulo-opercular salience network (SN), and the medial prefrontal-medial parietal default mode networks (DMN). It has been theorized that there is a causal neural mechanism by which the CEN/SN negatively regulate the DMN. Support for this idea has come from correlational neuroimaging studies; however, direct evidence for this neural mechanism is lacking. Here we undertook a direct test of this mechanism by combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with functional MRI to causally excite or inhibit TMS-accessible prefrontal nodes within the CEN or SN and determine consequent effects on the DMN. Single-pulse excitatory stimulations delivered to only the CEN node induced negative DMN connectivity with the CEN and SN, consistent with the CEN/SN's hypothesized negative regulation of the DMN. Conversely, low-frequency inhibitory repetitive TMS to the CEN node resulted in a shift of DMN signal from its normally low-frequency range to a higher frequency, suggesting disinhibition of DMN activity. Moreover, the CEN node exhibited this causal regulatory relationship primarily with the medial prefrontal portion of the DMN. These findings significantly advance our understanding of the causal mechanisms by which major brain networks normally coordinate information processing. Given that poorly regulated information processing is a hallmark of most neuropsychiatric disorders, these findings provide a foundation for ways to study network dysregulation and develop brain stimulation treatments for these disorders.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1311772110
View details for Web of Science ID 000327744900066
View details for PubMedID 24248372
Cerebellar Purkinje cell activity drives motor learning.
2013; 16 (12): 1734-1736
The climbing fiber input to the cerebellar cortex is thought to provide instructive signals that drive the induction of motor skill learning. We found that optogenetic activation of Purkinje cells, the sole output neurons of the cerebellar cortex, can also drive motor learning in mice. This dual control over the induction of learning by climbing fibers and Purkinje cells can expand the learning capacity of motor circuits.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.3576
View details for PubMedID 24162651
- Next-generation transgenic mice for optogenetic analysis of neural circuits analysis of neural circuits FRONTIERS IN NEURAL CIRCUITS 2013; 7
A Unique Population of Ventral Tegmental Area Neurons Inhibits the Lateral Habenula to Promote Reward
2013; 80 (4): 1039-1053
Lateral habenula (LHb) neurons convey aversive and negative reward conditions through potent indirect inhibition of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopaminergic neurons. Although VTA dopaminergic neurons reciprocally project to the LHb, the electrophysiological properties and the behavioral consequences associated with selective manipulations of this circuit are unknown. Here, we identify an inhibitory input to the LHb arising from a unique population of VTA neurons expressing dopaminergic markers. Optogenetic activation of this circuit resulted in no detectable dopamine release in LHb brain slices. Instead, stimulation produced GABA-mediated inhibitory synaptic transmission, which suppressed the firing of postsynaptic LHb neurons in brain slices and increased the spontaneous firing rate of VTA dopaminergic neurons in vivo. Furthermore, in vivo activation of this pathway produced reward-related phenotypes that were dependent on intra-LHb GABAA receptor signaling. These results suggest that noncanonical inhibitory signaling by these hybrid dopaminergic-GABAergic neurons act to suppress LHb output under rewarding conditions.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.08.023
View details for Web of Science ID 000327281200019
View details for PubMedID 24267654
Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Pyramidal Cells Have a Temporal Dynamic Role in Recall and Extinction of Cocaine-Associated Memory
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2013; 33 (46): 18225-18233
In addicts, associative memories related to the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse can evoke powerful craving and drug seeking urges, but effective treatment to suppress these memories is not available. Detailed insight into the neural circuitry that mediates expression of drug-associated memory is therefore of crucial importance. Substantial evidence from rodent models of addictive behavior points to the involvement of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in conditioned drug seeking, but specific knowledge of the temporal role of vmPFC pyramidal cells is lacking. To this end, we used an optogenetics approach to probe the involvement of vmPFC pyramidal cells in expression of a recent and remote conditioned cocaine memory. In mice, we expressed Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) or Halorhodopsin (eNpHR3.0) in pyramidal cells of the vmPFC and studied the effect of activation or inhibition of these cells during expression of a cocaine-contextual memory on days 1-2 (recent) and ∼3 weeks (remote) after conditioning. Whereas optical activation of pyramidal cells facilitated extinction of remote memory, without affecting recent memory, inhibition of pyramidal cells acutely impaired recall of recent cocaine memory, without affecting recall of remote memory. In addition, we found that silencing pyramidal cells blocked extinction learning at the remote memory time-point. We provide causal evidence of a critical time-dependent switch in the contribution of vmPFC pyramidal cells to recall and extinction of cocaine-associated memory, indicating that the circuitry that controls expression of cocaine memories reorganizes over time.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2412-13.2013
View details for Web of Science ID 000327020600024
View details for PubMedID 24227731
- Genetically encoded voltage sensor goes live. Nature biotechnology 2013; 31 (11): 994-995
Optical control of neuronal excitation and inhibition using a single opsin protein, ChR2
The effect of electrical stimulation on neuronal membrane potential is frequency dependent. Low frequency electrical stimulation can evoke action potentials, whereas high frequency stimulation can inhibit action potential transmission. Optical stimulation of channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) expressed in neuronal membranes can also excite action potentials. However, it is unknown whether optical stimulation of ChR2-expressing neurons produces a transition from excitation to inhibition with increasing light pulse frequencies. Here we report optical inhibition of motor neuron and muscle activity in vivo in the cooled sciatic nerves of Thy1-ChR2-EYFP mice. We also demonstrate all-optical single-wavelength control of neuronal excitation and inhibition without co-expression of inhibitory and excitatory opsins. This all-optical system is free from stimulation-induced electrical artifacts and thus provides a new approach to investigate mechanisms of high frequency inhibition in neuronal circuits in vivo and in vitro.
View details for DOI 10.1038/srep03110
View details for Web of Science ID 000326334000003
View details for PubMedID 24173561
Engineering Approaches to Illuminating Brain Structure and Dynamics
2013; 80 (3): 568-577
Historical milestones in neuroscience have come in diverse forms, ranging from the resolution of specific biological mysteries via creative experimentation to broad technological advances allowing neuroscientists to ask new kinds of questions. The continuous development of tools is driven with a special necessity by the complexity, fragility, and inaccessibility of intact nervous systems, such that inventive technique development and application drawing upon engineering and the applied sciences has long been essential to neuroscience. Here we highlight recent technological directions in neuroscience spurred by progress in optical, electrical, mechanical, chemical, and biological engineering. These research areas are poised for rapid growth and will likely be central to the practice of neuroscience well into the future.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.10.032
View details for Web of Science ID 000326609900004
View details for PubMedID 24183010
Wave optics theory and 3-D deconvolution for the light field microscope
2013; 21 (21): 25418-25439
Light field microscopy is a new technique for high-speed volumetric imaging of weakly scattering or fluorescent specimens. It employs an array of microlenses to trade off spatial resolution against angular resolution, thereby allowing a 4-D light field to be captured using a single photographic exposure without the need for scanning. The recorded light field can then be used to computationally reconstruct a full volume. In this paper, we present an optical model for light field microscopy based on wave optics, instead of previously reported ray optics models. We also present a 3-D deconvolution method for light field microscopy that is able to reconstruct volumes at higher spatial resolution, and with better optical sectioning, than previously reported. To accomplish this, we take advantage of the dense spatio-angular sampling provided by a microlens array at axial positions away from the native object plane. This dense sampling permits us to decode aliasing present in the light field to reconstruct high-frequency information. We formulate our method as an inverse problem for reconstructing the 3-D volume, which we solve using a GPU-accelerated iterative algorithm. Theoretical limits on the depth-dependent lateral resolution of the reconstructed volumes are derived. We show that these limits are in good agreement with experimental results on a standard USAF 1951 resolution target. Finally, we present 3-D reconstructions of pollen grains that demonstrate the improvements in fidelity made possible by our method.
View details for DOI 10.1364/OE.21.025418
View details for Web of Science ID 000326085600097
View details for PubMedID 24150383
A coaxial optrode as multifunction write-read probe for optogenetic studies in non-human primates
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE METHODS
2013; 219 (1): 142-154
Advances in optogenetics have led to first reports of expression of light-gated ion-channels in non-human primates (NHPs). However, a major obstacle preventing effective application of optogenetics in NHPs and translation to optogenetic therapeutics is the absence of compatible multifunction optoelectronic probes for (1) precision light delivery, (2) low-interference electrophysiology, (3) protein fluorescence detection, and (4) repeated insertion with minimal brain trauma.Here we describe a novel brain probe device, a "coaxial optrode", designed to minimize brain tissue damage while microfabricated to perform simultaneous electrophysiology, light delivery and fluorescence measurements in the NHP brain. The device consists of a tapered, gold-coated optical fiber inserted in a polyamide tube. A portion of the gold coating is exposed at the fiber tip to allow electrophysiological recordings in addition to light delivery/collection at the tip.Coaxial optrode performance was demonstrated by experiments in rodents and NHPs, and characterized by computational models. The device mapped opsin expression in the brain and achieved precisely targeted optical stimulation and electrophysiology with minimal cortical damage.Overall, combined electrical, optical and mechanical features of the coaxial optrode allowed a performance for NHP studies which was not possible with previously existing devices.Coaxial optrode is currently being used in two NHP laboratories as a major tool to study brain function by inducing light modulated neural activity and behavior. By virtue of its design, the coaxial optrode can be extended for use as a chronic implant and multisite neural stimulation/recording.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2013.06.011
View details for Web of Science ID 000324722900016
GABAergic Projection Neurons Route Selective Olfactory Inputs to Specific Higher-Order Neurons
2013; 79 (5): 917-931
We characterize an inhibitory circuit motif in the Drosophila olfactory system, parallel inhibition, which differs from feedforward or feedback inhibition. Excitatory and GABAergic inhibitory projection neurons (ePNs and iPNs) each receive input from antennal lobe glomeruli and send parallel output to the lateral horn, a higher center implicated in regulating innate olfactory behavior. Ca(2+) imaging of specific lateral horn neurons as an olfactory readout revealed that iPNs selectively suppressed food-related odor responses, but spared signal transmission from pheromone channels. Coapplying food odorant did not affect pheromone signal transmission, suggesting that the differential effects likely result from connection specificity of iPNs, rather than a generalized inhibitory tone. Ca(2+) responses in the ePN axon terminals show no detectable suppression by iPNs, arguing against presynaptic inhibition as a primary mechanism. The parallel inhibition motif may provide specificity in inhibition to funnel specific olfactory information, such as food and pheromone, into distinct downstream circuits.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.06.014
View details for Web of Science ID 000330269100010
View details for PubMedID 24012005
- Optogenetic Control of Targeted Peripheral Axons in Freely Moving Animals PLOS ONE 2013; 8 (8)
A causal link between prediction errors, dopamine neurons and learning
2013; 16 (7): 966-U248
Situations in which rewards are unexpectedly obtained or withheld represent opportunities for new learning. Often, this learning includes identifying cues that predict reward availability. Unexpected rewards strongly activate midbrain dopamine neurons. This phasic signal is proposed to support learning about antecedent cues by signaling discrepancies between actual and expected outcomes, termed a reward prediction error. However, it is unknown whether dopamine neuron prediction error signaling and cue-reward learning are causally linked. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated dopamine neuron activity in rats in two behavioral procedures, associative blocking and extinction, that illustrate the essential function of prediction errors in learning. We observed that optogenetic activation of dopamine neurons concurrent with reward delivery, mimicking a prediction error, was sufficient to cause long-lasting increases in cue-elicited reward-seeking behavior. Our findings establish a causal role for temporally precise dopamine neuron signaling in cue-reward learning, bridging a critical gap between experimental evidence and influential theoretical frameworks.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.3413
View details for Web of Science ID 000321180900032
View details for PubMedID 23708143
Arc/Arg3.1 Is a Postsynaptic Mediator of Activity-Dependent Synapse Elimination in the Developing Cerebellum
2013; 78 (6): 1024-1035
Neural circuits are shaped by activity-dependent elimination of redundant synapses during postnatal development. In many systems, postsynaptic activity is known to be crucial, but the precise mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we report that the immediate early gene Arc/Arg3.1 mediates elimination of surplus climbing fiber (CF) to Purkinje cell (PC) synapses in the developing cerebellum. CF synapse elimination was accelerated when activity of channelrhodopsin-2-expressing PCs was elevated by 2-day photostimulation. This acceleration was suppressed by PC-specific knockdown of either the P/Q-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels (VDCCs) or Arc. PC-specific Arc knockdown had no appreciable effect until around postnatal day 11 but significantly impaired CF synapse elimination thereafter, leaving redundant CF terminals on PC somata. The effect of Arc knockdown was occluded by simultaneous knockdown of P/Q-type VDCCs in PCs. We conclude that Arc mediates the final stage of CF synapse elimination downstream of P/Q-type VDCCs by removing CF synapses from PC somata.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.04.036
View details for Web of Science ID 000321026900009
View details for PubMedID 23791196
Repeated Cortico-Striatal Stimulation Generates Persistent OCD-Like Behavior
2013; 340 (6137): 1234-1239
Although cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) circuit dysregulation is correlated with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), causation cannot be tested in humans. We used optogenetics in mice to simulate CSTC hyperactivation observed in OCD patients. Whereas acute orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)-ventromedial striatum (VMS) stimulation did not produce repetitive behaviors, repeated hyperactivation over multiple days generated a progressive increase in grooming, a mouse behavior related to OCD. Increased grooming persisted for 2 weeks after stimulation cessation. The grooming increase was temporally coupled with a progressive increase in light-evoked firing of postsynaptic VMS cells. Both increased grooming and evoked firing were reversed by chronic fluoxetine, a first-line OCD treatment. Brief but repeated episodes of abnormal circuit activity may thus set the stage for the development of persistent psychopathology.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1234733
View details for Web of Science ID 000319972800051
View details for PubMedID 23744948
- CLARITY for mapping the nervous system. Nature methods 2013; 10 (6): 508-513
Optical inhibition of motor nerve and muscle activity in vivo.
Muscle & nerve
2013; 47 (6): 916-921
There is no therapeutic approach that provides precise and rapidly reversible inhibition of motor nerve and muscle activity for treatment of spastic hypertonia.We used optogenetics to demonstrate precise and rapidly reversible light-mediated inhibition of motor nerve and muscle activity in vivo in transgenic Thy1::eNpHR2.0 mice.We found optical inhibition of motor nerve and muscle activity to be effective at all muscle force amplitudes and determined that muscle activity can be modulated by changing light pulse duration and light power density.This demonstration of optical inhibition of motor nerves is an important advancement toward novel optogenetics-based therapies for spastic hypertonia.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mus.23696
View details for PubMedID 23629741
- Structural and molecular interrogation of intact biological systems NATURE 2013; 497 (7449): 332-?
Hypothalamic Neurotensin Projections Promote Reward by Enhancing Glutamate Transmission in the VTA
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2013; 33 (18): 7618-?
The lateral hypothalamus (LH) sends a dense glutamatergic and peptidergic projection to dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a cell group known to promote reinforcement and aspects of reward. The role of the LH to VTA projection in reward-seeking behavior can be informed by using optogenetic techniques to dissociate the actions of LH neurons from those of other descending forebrain inputs to the VTA. In the present study, we identify the effect of neurotensin (NT), one of the most abundant peptides in the LH to VTA projection, on excitatory synaptic transmission in the VTA and reward-seeking behavior. Mice displayed robust intracranial self-stimulation of LH to VTA fibers, an operant behavior mediated by NT 1 receptors (Nts1) and NMDA receptors. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of VTA dopamine neurons demonstrated that NT (10 nm) potentiated NMDA-mediated EPSCs via Nts1. Results suggest that NT release from the LH into the VTA activates Nts1, thereby potentiating NMDA-mediated EPSCs and promoting reward. The striking behavioral and electrophysiological effects of NT and glutamate highlight the LH to VTA pathway as an important component of reward.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2588-12.2013
View details for Web of Science ID 000318420400002
View details for PubMedID 23637156
Multiple Sources of Striatal Inhibition Are Differentially Affected in Huntington's Disease Mouse Models.
journal of neuroscience
2013; 33 (17): 7393-7406
In Huntington's disease (HD) mouse models, spontaneous inhibitory synaptic activity is enhanced in a subpopulation of medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs), which could dampen striatal output. We examined the potential source(s) of increased inhibition using electrophysiological and optogenetic methods to assess feedback and feedforward inhibition in two transgenic mouse models of HD. Single whole-cell patch-clamp recordings demonstrated that increased GABA synaptic activity impinges principally on indirect pathway MSNs. Dual patch recordings between MSNs demonstrated reduced connectivity between MSNs in HD mice. However, while connectivity was strictly unidirectional in controls, in HD mice bidirectional connectivity occurred. Other sources of increased GABA activity in MSNs also were identified. Dual patch recordings from fast spiking (FS) interneuron-MSN pairs demonstrated greater but variable amplitude responses in MSNs. In agreement, selective optogenetic stimulation of parvalbumin-expressing, FS interneurons induced significantly larger amplitude MSN responses in HD compared with control mice. While there were no differences in responses of MSNs evoked by activating single persistent low-threshold spiking (PLTS) interneurons in recorded pairs, these interneurons fired more action potentials in both HD models, providing another source for increased frequency of spontaneous GABA synaptic activity in MSNs. Selective optogenetic stimulation of somatostatin-expressing, PLTS interneurons did not reveal any significant differences in responses of MSNs in HD mice. These findings provide strong evidence that both feedforward and to a lesser extent feedback inhibition to MSNs in HD can potentially be sources for the increased GABA synaptic activity of indirect pathway MSNs.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2137-12.2013
View details for PubMedID 23616545
Optogenetic Delay of Status Epilepticus Onset in an In Vivo Rodent Epilepsy Model
2013; 8 (4)
Epilepsy is a devastating disease, currently treated with medications, surgery or electrical stimulation. None of these approaches is totally effective and our ability to control seizures remains limited and complicated by frequent side effects. The emerging revolutionary technique of optogenetics enables manipulation of the activity of specific neuronal populations in vivo with exquisite spatiotemporal resolution using light. We used optogenetic approaches to test the role of hippocampal excitatory neurons in the lithium-pilocarpine model of acute elicited seizures in awake behaving rats. Hippocampal pyramidal neurons were transduced in vivo with a virus carrying an enhanced halorhodopsin (eNpHR), a yellow light activated chloride pump, and acute seizure progression was then monitored behaviorally and electrophysiologically in the presence and absence of illumination delivered via an optical fiber. Inhibition of those neurons with illumination prior to seizure onset significantly delayed electrographic and behavioral initiation of status epilepticus, and altered the dynamics of ictal activity development. These results reveal an essential role of hippocampal excitatory neurons in this model of ictogenesis and illustrate the power of optogenetic approaches for elucidation of seizure mechanisms. This early success in controlling seizures also suggests future therapeutic avenues.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0062013
View details for Web of Science ID 000318340400068
View details for PubMedID 23637949
- Making Waves: Initiation and Propagation of Corticothalamic Ca2+ Waves In Vivo NEURON 2013; 77 (6): 1136-1150
Making waves: initiation and propagation of corticothalamic Ca2+ waves in vivo.
2013; 77 (6): 1136-1150
Corticothalamic slow oscillations of neuronal activity determine internal brain states. At least in the cortex, the electrical activity is associated with large neuronal Ca(2+) transients. Here we implemented an optogenetic approach to explore causal features of the generation of slow oscillation-associated Ca(2+) waves in the in vivo mouse brain. We demonstrate that brief optogenetic stimulation (3-20 ms) of a local group of layer 5 cortical neurons is sufficient for the induction of global brain Ca(2+) waves. These Ca(2+) waves are evoked in an all-or-none manner, exhibit refractoriness during repetitive stimulation, and propagate over long distances. By local optogenetic stimulation, we demonstrate that evoked Ca(2+) waves initially invade the cortex, followed by a secondary recruitment of the thalamus. Together, our results establish that synchronous activity in a small cluster of layer 5 cortical neurons can initiate a global neuronal wave of activity suited for long-range corticothalamic integration.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.01.031
View details for PubMedID 23522048
- The Brain Activity Map SCIENCE 2013; 339 (6125): 1284-1285
- Neuroscience. The brain activity map. Science 2013; 339 (6125): 1284-1285
Nanotools for Neuroscience and Brain Activity Mapping
2013; 7 (3): 1850-1866
Neuroscience is at a crossroads. Great effort is being invested into deciphering specific neural interactions and circuits. At the same time, there exist few general theories or principles that explain brain function. We attribute this disparity, in part, to limitations in current methodologies. Traditional neurophysiological approaches record the activities of one neuron or a few neurons at a time. Neurochemical approaches focus on single neurotransmitters. Yet, there is an increasing realization that neural circuits operate at emergent levels, where the interactions between hundreds or thousands of neurons, utilizing multiple chemical transmitters, generate functional states. Brains function at the nanoscale, so tools to study brains must ultimately operate at this scale, as well. Nanoscience and nanotechnology are poised to provide a rich toolkit of novel methods to explore brain function by enabling simultaneous measurement and manipulation of activity of thousands or even millions of neurons. We and others refer to this goal as the Brain Activity Mapping Project. In this Nano Focus, we discuss how recent developments in nanoscale analysis tools and in the design and synthesis of nanomaterials have generated optical, electrical, and chemical methods that can readily be adapted for use in neuroscience. These approaches represent exciting areas of technical development and research. Moreover, unique opportunities exist for nanoscientists, nanotechnologists, and other physical scientists and engineers to contribute to tackling the challenging problems involved in understanding the fundamentals of brain function.
View details for DOI 10.1021/nn4012847
View details for Web of Science ID 000316846700005
View details for PubMedID 23514423
Posttraining optogenetic manipulations of basolateral amygdala activity modulate consolidation of inhibitory avoidance memory in rats
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2013; 110 (9): 3597-3602
Memory consolidation studies, including those examining the role of the basolateral amygdala (BLA), have traditionally used techniques limited in their temporal and spatial precision. The development of optogenetics provides increased precision in the control of neuronal activity that can be used to address the temporal nature of the modulation of memory consolidation. The present experiments, therefore, investigated whether optogenetically stimulating and inhibiting BLA activity immediately after training on an inhibitory avoidance task enhances and impairs retention, respectively. The BLA of male Sprague-Dawley rats was transduced to express either ChR2(E123A) or archaerhodopsin-3 from the Halorubrum sodomense strain TP009 (ArchT). Immediately after inhibitory avoidance training, rats received optical stimulation or inhibition of the BLA, and 2 d later, rats' retention was tested. Stimulation of ChR2(E123A)-expressing neurons in the BLA using trains of 40-Hz light pulses enhanced retention, consistent with recording studies suggesting the importance of BLA activity at this frequency. Light pulses alone given to control rats had no effect on retention. Inhibition of ArchT-expressing neurons in the BLA for 15 min, but not 1 min, significantly impaired retention. Again, illumination alone given to control rats had no effect on retention, and BLA inhibition 3 h after training had no effect. These findings provide critical evidence of the importance of specific frequency patterns of activity in the BLA during consolidation and indicate that optogenetic manipulations can be used to alter activity after a learning event to investigate the processes underlying memory consolidation.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1219593110
View details for Web of Science ID 000315841900078
View details for PubMedID 23401523
Rapid regulation of depression-related behaviours by control of midbrain dopamine neurons
2013; 493 (7433): 532-?
Ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons in the brain's reward circuit have a crucial role in mediating stress responses, including determining susceptibility versus resilience to social-stress-induced behavioural abnormalities. VTA dopamine neurons show two in vivo patterns of firing: low frequency tonic firing and high frequency phasic firing. Phasic firing of the neurons, which is well known to encode reward signals, is upregulated by repeated social-defeat stress, a highly validated mouse model of depression. Surprisingly, this pathophysiological effect is seen in susceptible mice only, with no apparent change in firing rate in resilient individuals. However, direct evidence--in real time--linking dopamine neuron phasic firing in promoting the susceptible (depression-like) phenotype is lacking. Here we took advantage of the temporal precision and cell-type and projection-pathway specificity of optogenetics to show that enhanced phasic firing of these neurons mediates susceptibility to social-defeat stress in freely behaving mice. We show that optogenetic induction of phasic, but not tonic, firing in VTA dopamine neurons of mice undergoing a subthreshold social-defeat paradigm rapidly induced a susceptible phenotype as measured by social avoidance and decreased sucrose preference. Optogenetic phasic stimulation of these neurons also quickly induced a susceptible phenotype in previously resilient mice that had been subjected to repeated social-defeat stress. Furthermore, we show differences in projection-pathway specificity in promoting stress susceptibility: phasic activation of VTA neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens (NAc), but not to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), induced susceptibility to social-defeat stress. Conversely, optogenetic inhibition of the VTA-NAc projection induced resilience, whereas inhibition of the VTA-mPFC projection promoted susceptibility. Overall, these studies reveal novel firing-pattern- and neural-circuit-specific mechanisms of depression.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature11713
View details for Web of Science ID 000313871400038
View details for PubMedID 23235832
Glutamatergic Neurotransmission between the C1 Neurons and the Parasympathetic Preganglionic Neurons of the Dorsal Motor Nucleus of the Vagus
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2013; 33 (4): 1486-1497
The C1 neurons are a nodal point for blood pressure control and other autonomic responses. Here we test whether these rostral ventrolateral medullary catecholaminergic (RVLM-CA) neurons use glutamate as a transmitter in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV). After injecting Cre-dependent adeno-associated virus (AAV2) DIO-Ef1α-channelrhodopsin2(ChR2)-mCherry (AAV2) into the RVLM of dopamine-β-hydroxylase Cre transgenic mice (DβH(Cre/0)), mCherry was detected exclusively in RVLM-CA neurons. Within the DMV >95% mCherry-immunoreactive(ir) axonal varicosities were tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-ir and the same proportion were vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2)-ir. VGLUT2-mCherry colocalization was virtually absent when AAV2 was injected into the RVLM of DβH(Cre/0);VGLUT2(flox/flox) mice, into the caudal VLM (A1 noradrenergic neuron-rich region) of DβH(Cre/0) mice or into the raphe of ePet(Cre/0) mice. Following injection of AAV2 into RVLM of TH-Cre rats, phenylethanolamine N-methyl transferase and VGLUT2 immunoreactivities were highly colocalized in DMV within EYFP-positive or EYFP-negative axonal varicosities. Ultrastructurally, mCherry terminals from RVLM-CA neurons in DβH(Cre/0) mice made predominantly asymmetric synapses with choline acetyl-transferase-ir DMV neurons. Photostimulation of ChR2-positive axons in DβH(Cre/0) mouse brain slices produced EPSCs in 71% of tested DMV preganglionic neurons (PGNs) but no IPSCs. Photostimulation (20 Hz) activated PGNs up to 8 spikes/s (current-clamp). EPSCs were eliminated by tetrodotoxin, reinstated by 4-aminopyridine, and blocked by ionotropic glutamate receptor blockers. In conclusion, VGLUT2 is expressed by RVLM-CA (C1) neurons in rats and mice regardless of the presence of AAV2, the C1 neurons activate DMV parasympathetic PGNs monosynaptically and this connection uses glutamate as an ionotropic transmitter.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4269-12.2013
View details for Web of Science ID 000313956900020
View details for PubMedID 23345223
Optogenetic Inhibition of Dorsal Medial Prefrontal Cortex Attenuates Stress-Induced Reinstatement of Palatable Food Seeking in Female Rats
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2013; 33 (1): 214-U626
Relapse to maladaptive eating habits during dieting is often provoked by stress. Recently, we identified a role of dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) neurons in stress-induced reinstatement of palatable food seeking in male rats. It is unknown whether endogenous neural activity in dorsal mPFC drives stress-induced reinstatement in female rats. Here, we used an optogenetic approach, in which female rats received bilateral dorsal mPFC microinjections of viral constructs coding light-sensitive eNpHR3.0-eYFP or control eYFP protein and intracranial fiber optic implants. Rats were food restricted and trained to lever press for palatable food pellets. Subsequently, pellets were removed, and lever pressing was extinguished; then the effect of bilateral dorsal mPFC light delivery on reinstatement of food seeking was assessed after injections of the pharmacological stressor yohimbine (an ?-2 andrenoceptor antagonist) or pellet priming, a manipulation known to provoke food seeking in hungry rats. Dorsal mPFC light delivery attenuated yohimbine-induced reinstatement of food seeking in eNpHR3.0-injected but not eYFP-injected rats. This optical manipulation had no effect on pellet-priming-induced reinstatement or ongoing food-reinforced responding. Dorsal mPFC light delivery attenuated yohimbine-induced Fos immunoreactivity and disrupted neural activity during in vivo electrophysiological recording in awake rats. Optical stimulation caused significant outward currents and blocked electrically evoked action potentials in eNpHR3.0-injected but not eYFP-injected mPFC hemispheres. Light delivery alone caused no significant inflammatory response in mPFC. These findings indicate that intracranial light delivery in eNpHR3.0 rats disrupts endogenous dorsal mPFC neural activity that plays a role in stress-induced relapse to food seeking in female rats.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2016-12.2013
View details for Web of Science ID 000313046500021
View details for PubMedID 23283335
Closed-loop optogenetic control of thalamus as a tool for interrupting seizures after cortical injury
2013; 16 (1): 64-U98
Cerebrocortical injuries such as stroke are a major source of disability. Maladaptive consequences can result from post-injury local reorganization of cortical circuits. For example, epilepsy is a common sequela of cortical stroke, but the mechanisms responsible for seizures following cortical injuries remain unknown. In addition to local reorganization, long-range, extra-cortical connections might be critical for seizure maintenance. In rats, we found that the thalamus, a structure that is remote from, but connected to, the injured cortex, was required to maintain cortical seizures. Thalamocortical neurons connected to the injured epileptic cortex underwent changes in HCN channel expression and became hyperexcitable. Targeting these neurons with a closed-loop optogenetic strategy revealed that reducing their activity in real-time was sufficient to immediately interrupt electrographic and behavioral seizures. This approach is of therapeutic interest for intractable epilepsy, as it spares cortical function between seizures, in contrast with existing treatments, such as surgical lesioning or drugs.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.3269
View details for Web of Science ID 000312633900014
View details for PubMedID 23143518
- Cortico-Striatal Stimulation Generates Persistent OCD-Like Behavior. Science. 2013; 340: 1234-9
- A unique population of ventral tegmental area neurons inhibits the lateral habenula to promote reward. Neuron. 2013
- Causal interactions between fronto-parietal central executive and default-mode networks in humans. PNAS. 2013
- Optogenetics in the behaving rat: integration of diverse new technologies in a vital animal model. Optogenetics. 2013
- Optogenetic activation of an inhibitory network enhances feedforward functional connectivity in auditory cortex. Neuron. 2013
- A causal link between prediction errors, dopamine neurons and learning Nature Neuroscience. Advance Online Pulbication 2013
- Engineering approaches to illuminating brain structure and dynamics. Neuron. 2013
- Optogenetics. PNAS. 2013
- Light microscopy mapping of connections in the intact brain. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 2013
Optogenetic inhibition of cocaine seeking in rats
2013; 18 (1): 50-53
Inhibitory optogenetics was used to examine the roles of the prelimbic cortex (PL), the nucleus accumbens core (NAcore) and the PL projections to the NAcore in the reinstatement of cocaine seeking. Rats were microinjected into the PL or NAcore with an adeno-associated virus containing halorhodopsin or archaerhodopsin. After 12 days of cocaine self-administration, followed by extinction training, animals underwent reinstatement testing along with the presence/absence of optically induced inhibition via laser light. Bilateral optical inhibition of the PL, NAcore or the PL fibers in the NAcore inhibited the reinstatement of cocaine seeking.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1369-1600.2012.00479.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000312740500006
View details for PubMedID 22823160
Prefrontal D1 dopamine signaling is required for temporal control
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2012; 109 (50): 20726-20731
Temporal control, or how organisms guide movements in time to achieve behavioral goals, depends on dopamine signaling. The medial prefrontal cortex controls many goal-directed behaviors and receives dopaminergic input primarily from the midbrain ventral tegmental area. However, this system has never been linked with temporal control. Here, we test the hypothesis that dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area to the prefrontal cortex influence temporal control. Rodents were trained to perform a fixed-interval timing task with an interval of 20 s. We report several results: first, that decreasing dopaminergic neurotransmission using virally mediated RNA interference of tyrosine hydroxylase impaired temporal control, and second that pharmacological disruption of prefrontal D1 dopamine receptors, but not D2 dopamine receptors, impaired temporal control. We then used optogenetics to specifically and selectively manipulate prefrontal neurons expressing D1 dopamine receptors during fixed-interval timing performance. Selective inhibition of D1-expressing prefrontal neurons impaired fixed-interval timing, whereas stimulation made animals more efficient during task performance. These data provide evidence that ventral tegmental dopaminergic projections to the prefrontal cortex influence temporal control via D1 receptors. The results identify a critical circuit for temporal control of behavior that could serve as a target for the treatment of dopaminergic diseases.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1211258109
View details for Web of Science ID 000312605600114
View details for PubMedID 23185016
Two-photon optogenetics of dendritic spines and neural circuits
2012; 9 (12): 1202-U103
We demonstrate a two-photon optogenetic method that generates action potentials in neurons with single-cell precision, using the red-shifted opsin C1V1(T). We applied the method to optically map synaptic circuits in mouse neocortical brain slices and to activate small dendritic regions and individual spines. Using a spatial light modulator, we split the laser beam onto several neurons and performed simultaneous optogenetic activation of selected neurons in three dimensions.
View details for DOI 10.1038/NMETH.2249
View details for Web of Science ID 000312093500025
View details for PubMedID 23142873
Two-photon optogenetic toolbox for fast inhibition, excitation and bistable modulation
2012; 9 (12): 1171-U132
Optogenetics with microbial opsin genes has enabled high-speed control of genetically specified cell populations in intact tissue. However, it remains a challenge to independently control subsets of cells within the genetically targeted population. Although spatially precise excitation of target molecules can be achieved using two-photon laser-scanning microscopy (TPLSM) hardware, the integration of two-photon excitation with optogenetics has thus far required specialized equipment or scanning and has not yet been widely adopted. Here we take a complementary approach, developing opsins with custom kinetic, expression and spectral properties uniquely suited to scan times typical of the raster approach that is ubiquitous in TPLSMlaboratories. We use a range of culture, slice and mammalian in vivo preparations to demonstrate the versatility of this toolbox, and we quantitatively map parameter space for fast excitation, inhibition and bistable control. Together these advances may help enable broad adoption of integrated optogenetic and TPLSMtechnologies across experimental fields and systems.
View details for DOI 10.1038/NMETH.2215
View details for Web of Science ID 000312093500018
View details for PubMedID 23169303
Optogenetic and Potassium Channel Gene Therapy in a Rodent Model of Focal Neocortical Epilepsy
SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE
2012; 4 (161)
Neocortical epilepsy is frequently drug-resistant. Surgery to remove the epileptogenic zone is only feasible in a minority of cases, leaving many patients without an effective treatment. We report the potential efficacy of gene therapy in focal neocortical epilepsy using a rodent model in which epilepsy is induced by tetanus toxin injection in the motor cortex. By applying several complementary methods that use continuous wireless electroencephalographic monitoring to quantify epileptic activity, we observed increases in high frequency activity and in the occurrence of epileptiform events. Pyramidal neurons in the epileptic focus showed enhanced intrinsic excitability consistent with seizure generation. Optogenetic inhibition of a subset of principal neurons transduced with halorhodopsin targeted to the epileptic focus by lentiviral delivery was sufficient to attenuate electroencephalographic seizures. Local lentiviral overexpression of the potassium channel Kv1.1 reduced the intrinsic excitability of transduced pyramidal neurons. Coinjection of this Kv1.1 lentivirus with tetanus toxin fully prevented the occurrence of electroencephalographic seizures. Finally, administration of the Kv1.1 lentivirus to an established epileptic focus progressively suppressed epileptic activity over several weeks without detectable behavioral side effects. Thus, gene therapy in a rodent model can be used to suppress seizures acutely, prevent their occurrence after an epileptogenic stimulus, and successfully treat established focal epilepsy.
View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.3004190
View details for Web of Science ID 000311426900005
View details for PubMedID 23147003
Reversible online control of habitual behavior by optogenetic perturbation of medial prefrontal cortex
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2012; 109 (46): 18932-18937
Habits tend to form slowly but, once formed, can have great stability. We probed these temporal characteristics of habitual behaviors by intervening optogenetically in forebrain habit circuits as rats performed well-ingrained habitual runs in a T-maze. We trained rats to perform a maze habit, confirmed the habitual behavior by devaluation tests, and then, during the maze runs (ca. 3 s), we disrupted population activity in a small region in the medial prefrontal cortex, the infralimbic cortex. In accordance with evidence that this region is necessary for the expression of habits, we found that this cortical disruption blocked habitual behavior. Notably, however, this blockade of habitual performance occurred on line, within an average of three trials (ca. 9 s of inhibition), and as soon as during the first trial (<3 s). During subsequent weeks of training, the rats acquired a new behavioral pattern. When we again imposed the same cortical perturbation, the rats regained the suppressed maze-running that typified the original habit, and, simultaneously, the more recently acquired habit was blocked. These online changes occurred within an average of two trials (ca. 6 s of infralimbic inhibition). Measured changes in generalized performance ability and motivation to consume reward were unaffected. This immediate toggling between breaking old habits and returning to them demonstrates that even semiautomatic behaviors are under cortical control and that this control occurs online, second by second. These temporal characteristics define a framework for uncovering cellular transitions between fixed and flexible behaviors, and corresponding disturbances in pathologies.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1216264109
View details for Web of Science ID 000311576300064
View details for PubMedID 23112197
Input-specific control of reward and aversion in the ventral tegmental area
2012; 491 (7423): 212-?
Ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons have important roles in adaptive and pathological brain functions related to reward and motivation. However, it is unknown whether subpopulations of VTA dopamine neurons participate in distinct circuits that encode different motivational signatures, and whether inputs to the VTA differentially modulate such circuits. Here we show that, because of differences in synaptic connectivity, activation of inputs to the VTA from the laterodorsal tegmentum and the lateral habenula elicit reward and aversion in mice, respectively. Laterodorsal tegmentum neurons preferentially synapse on dopamine neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens lateral shell, whereas lateral habenula neurons synapse primarily on dopamine neurons projecting to the medial prefrontal cortex as well as on GABAergic (?-aminobutyric-acid-containing) neurons in the rostromedial tegmental nucleus. These results establish that distinct VTA circuits generate reward and aversion, and thereby provide a new framework for understanding the circuit basis of adaptive and pathological motivated behaviours.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature11527
View details for Web of Science ID 000310774300035
View details for PubMedID 23064228
High-Frequency Hippocampal Oscillations Activated by Optogenetic Stimulation of Transplanted Human ESC-Derived Neurons
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2012; 32 (45): 15837-15842
After transplantation, individual stem cell-derived neurons can functionally integrate into the host CNS; however, evidence that neurons derived from transplanted human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can drive endogenous neuronal network activity in CNS tissue is still lacking. Here, using multielectrode array recordings, we report activation of high-frequency oscillations in the ? and ? ranges (10-100 Hz) in the host hippocampal network via targeted optogenetic stimulation of transplanted hESC-derived neurons.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3735-12.2012
View details for Web of Science ID 000310842000018
View details for PubMedID 23136422
Color-tuned Channelrhodopsins for Multiwavelength Optogenetics
JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY
2012; 287 (38): 31804-31812
Channelrhodopsin-2 is a light-gated ion channel and a major tool of optogenetics. It is used to control neuronal activity via blue light. Here we describe the construction of color-tuned high efficiency channelrhodopsins (ChRs), based on chimeras of Chlamydomonas channelrhodopsin-1 and Volvox channelrhodopsin-1. These variants show superb expression and plasma membrane integration, resulting in 3-fold larger photocurrents in HEK cells compared with channelrhodopsin-2. Further molecular engineering gave rise to chimeric variants with absorption maxima ranging from 526 to 545 nm, dovetailing well with maxima of channelrhodopsin-2 derivatives ranging from 461 to 492 nm. Additional kinetic fine-tuning led to derivatives in which the lifetimes of the open state range from 19 ms to 5 s. Finally, combining green- with blue-absorbing variants allowed independent activation of two distinct neural cell populations at 560 and 405 nm. This novel panel of channelrhodopsin variants may serve as an important toolkit element for dual-color cell stimulation in neural circuits.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M112.391185
View details for Web of Science ID 000309059400021
View details for PubMedID 22843694
Neuronal circuitry mechanism regulating adult quiescent neural stem-cell fate decision
2012; 489 (7414): 150-U216
Adult neurogenesis arises from neural stem cells within specialized niches. Neuronal activity and experience, presumably acting on this local niche, regulate multiple stages of adult neurogenesis, from neural progenitor proliferation to new neuron maturation, synaptic integration and survival. It is unknown whether local neuronal circuitry has a direct impact on adult neural stem cells. Here we show that, in the adult mouse hippocampus, nestin-expressing radial glia-like quiescent neural stem cells (RGLs) respond tonically to the neurotransmitter ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA) by means of ?2-subunit-containing GABAA receptors. Clonal analysis of individual RGLs revealed a rapid exit from quiescence and enhanced symmetrical self-renewal after conditional deletion of ?2. RGLs are in close proximity to terminals expressing 67-kDa glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) of parvalbumin-expressing (PV+) interneurons and respond tonically to GABA released from these neurons. Functionally, optogenetic control of the activity of dentate PV+ interneurons, but not that of somatostatin-expressing or vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)-expressing interneurons, can dictate the RGL choice between quiescence and activation. Furthermore, PV+ interneuron activation restores RGL quiescence after social isolation, an experience that induces RGL activation and symmetrical division. Our study identifies a niche cell–signal–receptor trio and a local circuitry mechanism that control the activation and self-renewal mode of quiescent adult neural stem cells in response to neuronal activity and experience.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature11306
View details for Web of Science ID 000308347000053
View details for PubMedID 22842902
Photothermal Genetic Engineering
2012; 6 (9): 7548-7552
Optical methods for manipulation of cellular function have enabled deconstruction of genetic and neural circuits in vitro and in vivo. Plasmonic gold nanomaterials provide an alternative platform for external optical manipulation of genetic circuits. The tunable absorption of gold nanoparticles in the infrared spectral region and straightforward surface functionalization has led to applications in intracellular delivery and photorelease of short RNAs, recently enabling bidirectional photothermal modulation of specific genes via RNA interference (RNAi). We discuss recent advances in optical gene circuit engineering and plasmonic nanomaterials, as well as future research opportunities and challenges in photothermal gene manipulation.
View details for DOI 10.1021/nn3039287
View details for Web of Science ID 000309040600002
View details for PubMedID 22954475
Activation of specific interneurons improves V1 feature selectivity and visual perception
2012; 488 (7411): 379-?
Inhibitory interneurons are essential components of the neural circuits underlying various brain functions. In the neocortex, a large diversity of GABA (?-aminobutyric acid) interneurons has been identified on the basis of their morphology, molecular markers, biophysical properties and innervation pattern. However, how the activity of each subtype of interneurons contributes to sensory processing remains unclear. Here we show that optogenetic activation of parvalbumin-positive (PV+) interneurons in the mouse primary visual cortex (V1) sharpens neuronal feature selectivity and improves perceptual discrimination. Using multichannel recording with silicon probes and channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2)-mediated optical activation, we found that increased spiking of PV+ interneurons markedly sharpened orientation tuning and enhanced direction selectivity of nearby neurons. These effects were caused by the activation of inhibitory neurons rather than a decreased spiking of excitatory neurons, as archaerhodopsin-3 (Arch)-mediated optical silencing of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II? (CAMKII?)-positive excitatory neurons caused no significant change in V1 stimulus selectivity. Moreover, the improved selectivity specifically required PV+ neuron activation, as activating somatostatin or vasointestinal peptide interneurons had no significant effect. Notably, PV+ neuron activation in awake mice caused a significant improvement in their orientation discrimination, mirroring the sharpened V1 orientation tuning. Together, these results provide the first demonstration that visual coding and perception can be improved by increased spiking of a specific subtype of cortical inhibitory interneurons.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature11312
View details for Web of Science ID 000307501000042
View details for PubMedID 22878719
When the electricity (and the lights) go out: transient changes in excitability
2012; 15 (8): 1058-1060
Natural or artificially induced electrical activity changes can alter ion balance so as to briefly influence firing. An optogenetics study delineates one mechanism: Cl- shifts causing seconds-long excitability changes after silencing.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.3172
View details for Web of Science ID 000306844500003
View details for PubMedID 22837032
Expanding the Repertoire of Optogenetically Targeted Cells with an Enhanced Gene Expression System
2012; 2 (2): 397-406
Optogenetics has been enthusiastically pursued in recent neuroscience research, and the causal relationship between neural activity and behavior is becoming ever more accessible. Here, we established knockin-mediated enhanced gene expression by improved tetracycline-controlled gene induction (KENGE-tet) and succeeded in generating transgenic mice expressing a highly light-sensitive channelrhodopsin-2 mutant at levels sufficient to drive the activities of multiple cell types. This method requires two lines of mice: one that controls the pattern of expression and another that determines the protein to be produced. The generation of new lines of either type readily expands the repertoire to choose from. In addition to neurons, we were able to manipulate the activity of nonexcitable glial cells in vivo. This shows that our system is applicable not only to neuroscience but also to any biomedical study that requires understanding of how the activity of a selected population of cells propagates through the intricate organic systems.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2012.06.011
View details for Web of Science ID 000309715100018
View details for PubMedID 22854021
Striatal Dopamine Release Is Triggered by Synchronized Activity in Cholinergic Interneurons
2012; 75 (1): 58-64
Striatal dopamine plays key roles in our normal and pathological goal-directed actions. To understand dopamine function, much attention has focused on how midbrain dopamine neurons modulate their firing patterns. However, we identify a presynaptic mechanism that triggers dopamine release directly, bypassing activity in dopamine neurons. We paired electrophysiological recordings of striatal channelrhodopsin2-expressing cholinergic interneurons with simultaneous detection of dopamine release at carbon-fiber microelectrodes in striatal slices. We reveal that activation of cholinergic interneurons by light flashes that cause only single action potentials in neurons from a small population triggers dopamine release via activation of nicotinic receptors on dopamine axons. This event overrides ascending activity from dopamine neurons and, furthermore, is reproduced by activating ChR2-expressing thalamostriatal inputs, which synchronize cholinergic interneurons in vivo. These findings indicate that synchronized activity in cholinergic interneurons directly generates striatal dopamine signals whose functions will extend beyond those encoded by dopamine neuron activity.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.04.038
View details for Web of Science ID 000306539600008
View details for PubMedID 22794260
Altered profile of basket cell afferent synapses in hyper-excitable dentate gyrus revealed by optogenetic and two-pathway stimulations
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2012; 36 (1): 1971-1983
Cholecystokinin (CCK-) positive basket cells form a distinct class of inhibitory GABAergic interneurons, proposed to act as fine-tuning devices of hippocampal gamma-frequency (30-90 Hz) oscillations, which can convert into higher frequency seizure activity. Therefore, CCK-basket cells may play an important role in regulation of hyper-excitability and seizures in the hippocampus. In normal conditions, the endogenous excitability regulator neuropeptide Y (NPY) has been shown to modulate afferent inputs onto dentate gyrus CCK-basket cells, providing a possible novel mechanism for excitability control in the hippocampus. Using GAD65-GFP mice for CCK-basket cell identification, and whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, we explored whether the effect of NPY on afferent synapses to CCK-basket cells is modified in the hyper-excitable dentate gyrus. To induce a hyper-excitable state, recurrent seizures were evoked by electrical stimulation of the hippocampus using the well-characterized rapid kindling protocol. The frequency of spontaneous and miniature excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic currents recorded in CCK-basket cells was decreased by NPY. The excitatory post-synaptic currents evoked in CCK-basket cells by optogenetic activation of principal neurons were also decreased in amplitude. Interestingly, we observed an increased proportion of spontaneous inhibitory post-synaptic currents with slower rise times, indicating that NPY may inhibit gamma aminobutyric acid release preferentially in peri-somatic synapses. These findings indicate that increased levels and release of NPY observed after seizures can modulate afferent inputs to CCK-basket cells, and therefore alter their impact on the oscillatory network activity and excitability in the hippocampus.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2012.08080.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000305903000003
View details for PubMedID 22512307
- Optogenetics and Psychiatry: Applications, Challenges, and Opportunities BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY 2012; 71 (12): 1030-1032
A critical role for NMDA receptors in parvalbumin interneurons for gamma rhythm induction and behavior
2012; 17 (5): 537-548
Synchronous recruitment of fast-spiking (FS) parvalbumin (PV) interneurons generates gamma oscillations, rhythms that emerge during performance of cognitive tasks. Administration of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists alters gamma rhythms, and can induce cognitive as well as psychosis-like symptoms in humans. The disruption of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) signaling specifically in FS PV interneurons is therefore hypothesized to give rise to neural network dysfunction that could underlie these symptoms. To address the connection between NMDAR activity, FS PV interneurons, gamma oscillations and behavior, we generated mice lacking NMDAR neurotransmission only in PV cells (PV-Cre/NR1f/f mice). Here, we show that mutant mice exhibit enhanced baseline cortical gamma rhythms, impaired gamma rhythm induction after optogenetic drive of PV interneurons and reduced sensitivity to the effects of NMDAR antagonists on gamma oscillations and stereotypies. Mutant mice show largely normal behaviors except for selective cognitive impairments, including deficits in habituation, working memory and associative learning. Our results provide evidence for the critical role of NMDAR in PV interneurons for expression of normal gamma rhythms and specific cognitive behaviors.
View details for DOI 10.1038/mp.2011.31
View details for Web of Science ID 000303110800009
View details for PubMedID 21468034
Optogenetic stimulation of a hippocampal engram activates fear memory recall
2012; 484 (7394): 381-U415
A specific memory is thought to be encoded by a sparse population of neurons. These neurons can be tagged during learning for subsequent identification and manipulation. Moreover, their ablation or inactivation results in reduced memory expression, suggesting their necessity in mnemonic processes. However, the question of sufficiency remains: it is unclear whether it is possible to elicit the behavioural output of a specific memory by directly activating a population of neurons that was active during learning. Here we show in mice that optogenetic reactivation of hippocampal neurons activated during fear conditioning is sufficient to induce freezing behaviour. We labelled a population of hippocampal dentate gyrus neurons activated during fear learning with channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and later optically reactivated these neurons in a different context. The mice showed increased freezing only upon light stimulation, indicating light-induced fear memory recall. This freezing was not detected in non-fear-conditioned mice expressing ChR2 in a similar proportion of cells, nor in fear-conditioned mice with cells labelled by enhanced yellow fluorescent protein instead of ChR2. Finally, activation of cells labelled in a context not associated with fear did not evoke freezing in mice that were previously fear conditioned in a different context, suggesting that light-induced fear memory recall is context specific. Together, our findings indicate that activating a sparse but specific ensemble of hippocampal neurons that contribute to a memory engram is sufficient for the recall of that memory. Moreover, our experimental approach offers a general method of mapping cellular populations bearing memory engrams.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature11028
View details for Web of Science ID 000302946500034
View details for PubMedID 22441246
Synaptic Activity Unmasks Dopamine D2 Receptor Modulation of a Specific Class of Layer V Pyramidal Neurons in Prefrontal Cortex
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2012; 32 (14): 4959-4971
Dopamine D2 receptors (D2Rs) play a major role in the function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), and may contribute to prefrontal dysfunction in conditions such as schizophrenia. Here we report that in mouse PFC, D2Rs are selectively expressed by a subtype of layer V pyramidal neurons that have thick apical tufts, prominent h-current, and subcortical projections. Within this subpopulation, the D2R agonist quinpirole elicits a novel afterdepolarization that generates voltage fluctuations and spiking for hundreds of milliseconds. Surprisingly, this afterdepolarization is masked in quiescent brain slices, but is readily unmasked by physiologic levels of synaptic input which activate NMDA receptors, possibly explaining why this phenomenon has not been reported previously. Notably, we could still elicit this afterdepolarization for some time after the cessation of synaptic stimulation. In addition to NMDA receptors, the quinpirole-induced afterdepolarization also depended on L-type Ca(2+) channels and was blocked by the selective L-type antagonist nimodipine. To confirm that D2Rs can elicit this afterdepolarization by enhancing Ca(2+) (and Ca(2+)-dependent) currents, we measured whole-cell Ca(2+) potentials that occur after blocking Na(+) and K(+) channels, and found quinpirole enhanced these potentials, while the selective D2R antagonist sulpiride had the opposite effect. Thus, D2Rs can elicit a Ca(2+)-channel-dependent afterdepolarization that powerfully modulates activity in specific prefrontal neurons. Through this mechanism, D2Rs might enhance outputs to subcortical structures, contribute to reward-related persistent firing, or increase the level of noise in prefrontal circuits.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5835-11.2012
View details for Web of Science ID 000302783500026
View details for PubMedID 22492051
Optogenetic investigation of neural circuits underlying brain disease in animal models
NATURE REVIEWS NEUROSCIENCE
2012; 13 (4): 251-266
Optogenetic tools have provided a new way to establish causal relationships between brain activity and behaviour in health and disease. Although no animal model captures human disease precisely, behaviours that recapitulate disease symptoms may be elicited and modulated by optogenetic methods, including behaviours that are relevant to anxiety, fear, depression, addiction, autism and parkinsonism. The rapid proliferation of optogenetic reagents together with the swift advancement of strategies for implementation has created new opportunities for causal and precise dissection of the circuits underlying brain diseases in animal models.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nrn3171
View details for Web of Science ID 000301942500009
View details for PubMedID 22430017
GABA Neurons of the VTA Drive Conditioned Place Aversion
2012; 73 (6): 1173-1183
Salient but aversive stimuli inhibit the majority of dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and cause conditioned place aversion (CPA). The cellular mechanism underlying DA neuron inhibition has not been investigated and the causal link to behavior remains elusive. Here, we show that GABA neurons of the VTA inhibit DA neurons through neurotransmission at GABA(A) receptors. We also observe that GABA neurons increase their firing in response to a footshock and provide evidence that driving GABA neurons with optogenetic effectors is sufficient to affect behavior. Taken together, our data demonstrate that synaptic inhibition of DA neurons drives place aversion.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.02.015
View details for Web of Science ID 000301998700014
View details for PubMedID 22445344
Structural Model of Channelrhodopsin
JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY
2012; 287 (10): 7456-7466
Channelrhodopsins (ChRs) are light-gated cation channels that mediate ion transport across membranes in microalgae (vectorial catalysis). ChRs are now widely used for the analysis of neural networks in tissues and living animals with light (optogenetics). For elucidation of functional mechanisms at the atomic level, as well as for further engineering and application, a detailed structure is urgently needed. In the absence of an experimental structure, here we develop a structural ChR model based on several molecular computational approaches, capitalizing on characteristic patterns in amino acid sequences of ChR1, ChR2, Volvox ChRs, Mesostigma ChR, and the recently identified ChR of the halophilic alga Dunaliella salina. In the present model, we identify remarkable structural motifs that may explain fundamental electrophysiological properties of ChR2, ChR1, and their mutants, and in a crucial validation of the model, we successfully reproduce the excitation energy predicted by absorption spectra.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M111.320309
View details for Web of Science ID 000301060200046
View details for PubMedID 22241469
Integrated device for combined optical neuromodulation and electrical recording for chronic in vivo applications
JOURNAL OF NEURAL ENGINEERING
2012; 9 (1)
Studying brain function and its local circuit dynamics requires neural interfaces that can record and stimulate the brain with high spatiotemporal resolution. Optogenetics, a technique that genetically targets specific neurons to express light-sensitive channel proteins, provides the capability to control central nervous system neuronal activity in mammals with millisecond time precision. This technique enables precise optical stimulation of neurons and simultaneous monitoring of neural response by electrophysiological means, both in the vicinity of and distant to the stimulation site. We previously demonstrated, in vitro, the dual capability (optical delivery and electrical recording) while testing a novel hybrid device (optrode-MEA), which incorporates a tapered coaxial optical electrode (optrode) and a 100 element microelectrode array (MEA). Here we report a fully chronic implant of a new version of this device in ChR2-expressing rats, and demonstrate its use in freely moving animals over periods up to 8 months. In its present configuration, we show the device delivering optical excitation to a single cortical site while mapping the neural response from the surrounding 30 channels of the 6 × 6 element MEA, thereby enabling recording of optically modulated single-unit and local field potential activity across several millimeters of the neocortical landscape.
View details for DOI 10.1088/1741-2560/9/1/016001
View details for Web of Science ID 000300618700003
View details for PubMedID 22156042
Principles for applying optogenetic tools derived from direct comparative analysis of microbial opsins
2012; 9 (2): 159-172
Diverse optogenetic tools have allowed versatile control over neural activity. Many depolarizing and hyperpolarizing tools have now been developed in multiple laboratories and tested across different preparations, presenting opportunities but also making it difficult to draw direct comparisons. This challenge has been compounded by the dependence of performance on parameters such as vector, promoter, expression time, illumination, cell type and many other variables. As a result, it has become increasingly complicated for end users to select the optimal reagents for their experimental needs. For a rapidly growing field, critical figures of merit should be formalized both to establish a framework for further development and so that end users can readily understand how these standardized parameters translate into performance. Here we systematically compared microbial opsins under matched experimental conditions to extract essential principles and identify key parameters for the conduct, design and interpretation of experiments involving optogenetic techniques.
View details for DOI 10.1038/NMETH.1808
View details for Web of Science ID 000300029600026
- Optetrode: a multichannel readout for optogenetic control in freely moving mice NATURE NEUROSCIENCE 2012; 15 (1): 163-U204
Optetrode: a multichannel readout for optogenetic control in freely moving mice.
2012; 15 (1): 163-170
Recent advances in optogenetics have improved the precision with which defined circuit elements can be controlled optically in freely moving mammals; in particular, recombinase-dependent opsin viruses, used with a growing pool of transgenic mice expressing recombinases, allow manipulation of specific cell types. However, although optogenetic control has allowed neural circuits to be manipulated in increasingly powerful ways, combining optogenetic stimulation with simultaneous multichannel electrophysiological readout of isolated units in freely moving mice remains a challenge. We designed and validated the optetrode, a device that allows for colocalized multi-tetrode electrophysiological recording and optical stimulation in freely moving mice. Optetrode manufacture employs a unique optical fiber-centric coaxial design approach that yields a lightweight (2 g), compact and robust device that is suitable for behaving mice. This low-cost device is easy to construct (2.5 h to build without specialized equipment). We found that the drive design produced stable high-quality recordings and continued to do so for at least 6 weeks following implantation. We validated the optetrode by quantifying, for the first time, the response of cells in the medial prefrontal cortex to local optical excitation and inhibition, probing multiple different genetically defined classes of cells in the mouse during open field exploration.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.2992
View details for PubMedID 22138641
- GABAergic circuits mediate the reinforcement-related signals of striatal cholinergic interneurons NATURE NEUROSCIENCE 2012; 15 (1): 123-U155
- A critical role for NMDA receptors in parvalbumin interneurons for gamma rhythm induction and behavior. Mol Psychiatry. 2012; 5 (17): 537-48
GABAergic circuits mediate the reinforcement-related signals of striatal cholinergic interneurons.
2012; 15 (1): 123-130
Neostriatal cholinergic interneurons are believed to be important for reinforcement-mediated learning and response selection by signaling the occurrence and motivational value of behaviorally relevant stimuli through precisely timed multiphasic population responses. An important problem is to understand how these signals regulate the functioning of the neostriatum. Here we describe the synaptic organization of a previously unknown circuit that involves direct nicotinic excitation of several classes of GABAergic interneurons, including neuroptide Y-expressing neurogilaform neurons, and enables cholinergic interneurons to exert rapid inhibitory control of the activity of projection neurons. We also found that, in vivo, the dominant effect of an optogenetically reproduced pause-excitation population response of cholinergic interneurons was powerful and rapid inhibition of the firing of projection neurons that is coincident with synchronous cholinergic activation. These results reveal a previously unknown circuit mechanism that transmits reinforcement-related information of ChAT interneurons in the mouse neostriatal network.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.2984
View details for PubMedID 22158514
Recombinase-Driver Rat Lines: Tools, Techniques, and Optogenetic Application to Dopamine-Mediated Reinforcement
2011; 72 (5): 721-733
Currently there is no general approach for achieving specific optogenetic control of genetically defined cell types in rats, which provide a powerful experimental system for numerous established neurophysiological and behavioral paradigms. To overcome this challenge we have generated genetically restricted recombinase-driver rat lines suitable for driving gene expression in specific cell types, expressing Cre recombinase under the control of large genomic regulatory regions (200-300 kb). Multiple tyrosine hydroxylase (Th)::Cre and choline acetyltransferase (Chat)::Cre lines were produced that exhibited specific opsin expression in targeted cell types. We additionally developed methods for utilizing optogenetic tools in freely moving rats and leveraged these technologies to clarify the causal relationship between dopamine (DA) neuron firing and positive reinforcement, observing that optical stimulation of DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of Th::Cre rats is sufficient to support vigorous intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS). These studies complement existing targeting approaches by extending the generalizability of optogenetics to traditionally non-genetically-tractable but vital animal models.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.10.028
View details for Web of Science ID 000297971100008
View details for PubMedID 22153370
Leptin regulates the reward value of nutrient
2011; 14 (12): 1562-U92
We developed an assay for quantifying the reward value of nutrient and used it to analyze the effects of metabolic state and leptin. In this assay, mice chose between two sippers, one of which dispensed water and was coupled to optogenetic activation of dopaminergic (DA) neurons and the other of which dispensed natural or artificial sweeteners. This assay measured the reward value of sweeteners relative to lick-induced optogenetic activation of DA neurons. Mice preferred optogenetic stimulation of DA neurons to sucralose, but not to sucrose. However, the mice preferred sucralose plus optogenetic stimulation versus sucrose. We found that food restriction increased the value of sucrose relative to sucralose plus optogenetic stimulation, and that leptin decreased it. Our data suggest that leptin suppresses the ability of sucrose to drive taste-independent DA neuronal activation and provide new insights into the mechanism of leptin's effects on food intake.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.2977
View details for Web of Science ID 000297546300016
View details for PubMedID 22081158
Neuronal filtering of multiplexed odour representations
2011; 479 (7374): 493-U215
Neuronal activity patterns contain information in their temporal structure, indicating that information transfer between neurons may be optimized by temporal filtering. In the zebrafish olfactory bulb, subsets of output neurons (mitral cells) engage in synchronized oscillations during odour responses, but information about odour identity is contained mostly in non-oscillatory firing rate patterns. Using optogenetic manipulations and odour stimulation, we found that firing rate responses of neurons in the posterior zone of the dorsal telencephalon (Dp), a target area homologous to olfactory cortex, were largely insensitive to oscillatory synchrony of mitral cells because passive membrane properties and synaptic currents act as low-pass filters. Nevertheless, synchrony influenced spike timing. Moreover, Dp neurons responded primarily during the decorrelated steady state of mitral cell activity patterns. Temporal filtering therefore tunes Dp neurons to components of mitral cell activity patterns that are particularly informative about precise odour identity. These results demonstrate how temporal filtering can extract specific information from multiplexed neuronal codes.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature10633
View details for Web of Science ID 000297285600042
View details for PubMedID 22080956
SNCA Triplication Parkinson's Patient's iPSC-derived DA Neurons Accumulate alpha-Synuclein and Are Susceptible to Oxidative Stress
2011; 6 (11)
Parkinson's disease (PD) is an incurable age-related neurodegenerative disorder affecting both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Although common, the etiology of PD remains poorly understood. Genetic studies infer that the disease results from a complex interaction between genetics and environment and there is growing evidence that PD may represent a constellation of diseases with overlapping yet distinct underlying mechanisms. Novel clinical approaches will require a better understanding of the mechanisms at work within an individual as well as methods to identify the specific array of mechanisms that have contributed to the disease. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) strategies provide an opportunity to directly study the affected neuronal subtypes in a given patient. Here we report the generation of iPSC-derived midbrain dopaminergic neurons from a patient with a triplication in the ?-synuclein gene (SNCA). We observed that the iPSCs readily differentiated into functional neurons. Importantly, the PD-affected line exhibited disease-related phenotypes in culture: accumulation of ?-synuclein, inherent overexpression of markers of oxidative stress, and sensitivity to peroxide induced oxidative stress. These findings show that the dominantly-acting PD mutation is intrinsically capable of perturbing normal cell function in culture and confirm that these features reflect, at least in part, a cell autonomous disease process that is independent of exposure to the entire complexity of the diseased brain.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0026159
View details for Web of Science ID 000297555400007
View details for PubMedID 22110584
Hemisphere-specific optogenetic stimulation reveals left-right asymmetry of hippocampal plasticity
2011; 14 (11): 1413-1415
Postsynaptic spines at CA3-CA1 synapses differ in glutamate receptor composition according to the hemispheric origin of CA3 afferents. To study the functional consequences of this asymmetry, we used optogenetic tools to selectively stimulate axons of CA3 pyramidal cells originating in either left or right mouse hippocampus. We found that left CA3 input produced more long-term potentiation at CA1 synapses than right CA3 input as a result of differential expression of GluN2B subunit-containing NMDA receptors.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.2915
View details for Web of Science ID 000296518600015
View details for PubMedID 21946328
Dynamics of Retrieval Strategies for Remote Memories
2011; 147 (3): 678-689
Prevailing theory suggests that long-term memories are encoded via a two-phase process requiring early involvement of the hippocampus followed by the neocortex. Contextual fear memories in rodents rely on the hippocampus immediately following training but are unaffected by hippocampal lesions or pharmacological inhibition weeks later. With fast optogenetic methods, we examine the real-time contribution of hippocampal CA1 excitatory neurons to remote memory and find that contextual fear memory recall, even weeks after training, can be reversibly abolished by temporally precise optogenetic inhibition of CA1. When this inhibition is extended to match the typical time course of pharmacological inhibition, remote hippocampus dependence converts to hippocampus independence, suggesting that long-term memory retrieval normally depends on the hippocampus but can adaptively shift to alternate structures. Further revealing the plasticity of mechanisms required for memory recall, we confirm the remote-timescale importance of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and implicate CA1 in ACC recruitment for remote recall.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2011.09.033
View details for Web of Science ID 000296573700021
View details for PubMedID 22019004
Differential Modulation of Excitatory and Inhibitory Striatal Synaptic Transmission by Histamine
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2011; 31 (43): 15340-15351
Information processing in the striatum is critical for basal ganglia function and strongly influenced by neuromodulators (e.g., dopamine). The striatum also receives modulatory afferents from the histaminergic neurons in the hypothalamus which exhibit a distinct diurnal rhythm with high activity during wakefulness, and little or no activity during sleep. In view of the fact that the striatum also expresses a high density of histamine receptors, we hypothesized that released histamine will affect striatal function. We studied the role of histamine on striatal microcircuit function by performing whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of neurochemically identified striatal neurons combined with electrical and optogenetic stimulation of striatal afferents in mouse brain slices. Bath applied histamine had many effects on striatal microcircuits. Histamine, acting at H(2) receptors, depolarized both the direct and indirect pathway medium spiny projection neurons (MSNs). Excitatory, glutamatergic input to both classes of MSNs from both the cortex and thalamus was negatively modulated by histamine acting at presynaptic H(3) receptors. The dynamics of thalamostriatal, but not corticostriatal, synapses were modulated by histamine leading to a facilitation of thalamic input. Furthermore, local inhibitory input to both classes of MSNs was negatively modulated by histamine. Subsequent dual whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of connected pairs of striatal neurons revealed that only lateral inhibition between MSNs is negatively modulated, whereas feedforward inhibition from fast-spiking GABAergic interneurons onto MSNs is unaffected by histamine. These findings suggest that the diurnal rhythm of histamine release entrains striatal function which, during wakefulness, is dominated by feedforward inhibition and a suppression of excitatory drive.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3144-11.2011
View details for Web of Science ID 000296446200013
View details for PubMedID 22031880
In Vivo Optogenetic Stimulation of Neocortical Excitatory Neurons Drives Brain-State-Dependent Inhibition
2011; 21 (19): 1593-1602
Synaptic interactions between excitatory and inhibitory neocortical neurons are important for mammalian sensory perception. Synaptic transmission between identified neurons within neocortical microcircuits has mainly been studied in brain slice preparations in vitro. Here, we investigate brain-state-dependent neocortical synaptic interactions in vivo by combining the specificity of optogenetic stimulation with the precision of whole-cell recordings from postsynaptic excitatory glutamatergic neurons and GFP-labeled inhibitory GABAergic neurons targeted through two-photon microscopy.Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) stimulation of excitatory layer 2/3 barrel cortex neurons evoked larger and faster depolarizing postsynaptic potentials and more synaptically driven action potentials in fast-spiking (FS) GABAergic neurons compared to both non-fast-spiking (NFS) GABAergic neurons and postsynaptic excitatory pyramidal neurons located within the same neocortical microcircuit. The number of action potentials evoked in ChR2-expressing neurons showed low trial-to-trial variability, but postsynaptic responses varied strongly with near-linear dependence upon spontaneously driven changes in prestimulus membrane potential. Postsynaptic responses in excitatory neurons had reversal potentials, which were hyperpolarized relative to action potential threshold and were therefore inhibitory. Reversal potentials measured in postsynaptic GABAergic neurons were close to action potential threshold. Postsynaptic inhibitory neurons preferentially fired synaptically driven action potentials from spontaneously depolarized network states, with stronger state-dependent modulation in NFS GABAergic neurons compared to FS GABAergic neurons.Inhibitory neurons appear to dominate neocortical microcircuit function, receiving stronger local excitatory synaptic input and firing more action potentials compared to excitatory neurons. In mouse layer 2/3 barrel cortex, we propose that strong state-dependent recruitment of inhibitory neurons drives competition among excitatory neurons enforcing sparse coding.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2011.08.028
View details for Web of Science ID 000295899600016
View details for PubMedID 21945274
Multiscale Computational Models for Optogenetic Control of Cardiac Function
2011; 101 (6): 1326-1334
The ability to stimulate mammalian cells with light has significantly changed our understanding of electrically excitable tissues in health and disease, paving the way toward various novel therapeutic applications. Here, we demonstrate the potential of optogenetic control in cardiac cells using a hybrid experimental/computational technique. Experimentally, we introduced channelrhodopsin-2 into undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells via a lentiviral vector, and sorted and expanded the genetically engineered cells. Via directed differentiation, we created channelrhodopsin-expressing cardiomyocytes, which we subjected to optical stimulation. To quantify the impact of photostimulation, we assessed electrical, biochemical, and mechanical signals using patch-clamping, multielectrode array recordings, and video microscopy. Computationally, we introduced channelrhodopsin-2 into a classic autorhythmic cardiac cell model via an additional photocurrent governed by a light-sensitive gating variable. Upon optical stimulation, the channel opens and allows sodium ions to enter the cell, inducing a fast upstroke of the transmembrane potential. We calibrated the channelrhodopsin-expressing cell model using single action potential readings for different photostimulation amplitudes, pulse widths, and frequencies. To illustrate the potential of the proposed approach, we virtually injected channelrhodopsin-expressing cells into different locations of a human heart, and explored its activation sequences upon optical stimulation. Our experimentally calibrated computational toolbox allows us to virtually probe landscapes of process parameters, and identify optimal photostimulation sequences toward pacing hearts with light.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.08.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000295197300006
View details for PubMedID 21943413
A new mode of corticothalamic transmission revealed in the Gria4(-/-) model of absence epilepsy
2011; 14 (9): 1167-U225
Cortico-thalamo-cortical circuits mediate sensation and generate neural network oscillations associated with slow-wave sleep and various epilepsies. Cortical input to sensory thalamus is thought to mainly evoke feed-forward synaptic inhibition of thalamocortical (TC) cells via reticular thalamic nucleus (nRT) neurons, especially during oscillations. This relies on a stronger synaptic strength in the cortico-nRT pathway than in the cortico-TC pathway, allowing the feed-forward inhibition of TC cells to overcome direct cortico-TC excitation. We found a systemic and specific reduction in strength in GluA4-deficient (Gria4(-/-)) mice of one excitatory synapse of the rhythmogenic cortico-thalamo-cortical system, the cortico-nRT projection, and observed that the oscillations could still be initiated by cortical inputs via the cortico-TC-nRT-TC pathway. These results reveal a previously unknown mode of cortico-thalamo-cortical transmission, bypassing direct cortico-nRT excitation, and describe a mechanism for pathological oscillation generation. This mode could be active under other circumstances, representing a previously unknown channel of cortico-thalamo-cortical information processing.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.2896
View details for Web of Science ID 000294284900017
View details for PubMedID 21857658
Cell type-specific channelrhodopsin-2 transgenic mice for optogenetic dissection of neural circuitry function
2011; 8 (9): 745-U91
Optogenetic methods have emerged as powerful tools for dissecting neural circuit connectivity, function and dysfunction. We used a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic strategy to express the H134R variant of channelrhodopsin-2, ChR2(H134R), under the control of cell type–specific promoter elements. We performed an extensive functional characterization of the newly established VGAT-ChR2(H134R)-EYFP, ChAT-ChR2(H134R)-EYFP, Tph2-ChR2(H134R)-EYFP and Pvalb(H134R)-ChR2-EYFP BAC transgenic mouse lines and demonstrate the utility of these lines for precisely controlling action-potential firing of GABAergic, cholinergic, serotonergic and parvalbumin-expressing neuron subsets using blue light. This resource of cell type–specific ChR2(H134R) mouse lines will facilitate the precise mapping of neuronal connectivity and the dissection of the neural basis of behavior.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nmeth.1668
View details for Web of Science ID 000294439100011
View details for PubMedID 21985008
Optogenetic Interrogation of Dopaminergic Modulation of the Multiple Phases of Reward-Seeking Behavior
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2011; 31 (30): 10829-10835
Phasic activation of dopaminergic neurons is associated with reward-predicting cues and supports learning during behavioral adaptation. While noncontingent activation of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental are (VTA) is sufficient for passive behavioral conditioning, it remains unknown whether the phasic dopaminergic signal is truly reinforcing. In this study, we first targeted the expression of channelrhodopsin-2 to dopaminergic neurons of the VTA and optimized optogenetically evoked dopamine transients. Second, we showed that phasic activation of dopaminergic neurons in freely moving mice causally enhances positive reinforcing actions in a food-seeking operant task. Interestingly, such effect was not found in the absence of food reward. We further found that phasic activation of dopaminergic neurons is sufficient to reactivate previously extinguished food-seeking behavior in the absence of external cues. This was also confirmed using a single-session reversal paradigm. Collectively, these data suggest that activation of dopaminergic neurons facilitates the development of positive reinforcement during reward-seeking and behavioral flexibility.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2246-11.2011
View details for Web of Science ID 000293171900010
View details for PubMedID 21795535
Excitatory transmission from the amygdala to nucleus accumbens facilitates reward seeking
2011; 475 (7356): 377-U129
The basolateral amygdala (BLA) has a crucial role in emotional learning irrespective of valence. The BLA projection to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is thought to modulate cue-triggered motivated behaviours, but our understanding of the interaction between these two brain regions has been limited by the inability to manipulate neural-circuit elements of this pathway selectively during behaviour. To circumvent this limitation, we used in vivo optogenetic stimulation or inhibition of glutamatergic fibres from the BLA to the NAc, coupled with intracranial pharmacology and ex vivo electrophysiology. Here we show that optical stimulation of the pathway from the BLA to the NAc in mice reinforces behavioural responding to earn additional optical stimulation of these synaptic inputs. Optical stimulation of these glutamatergic fibres required intra-NAc dopamine D1-type receptor signalling, but not D2-type receptor signalling. Brief optical inhibition of fibres from the BLA to the NAc reduced cue-evoked intake of sucrose, demonstrating an important role of this specific pathway in controlling naturally occurring reward-related behaviour. Moreover, although optical stimulation of glutamatergic fibres from the medial prefrontal cortex to the NAc also elicited reliable excitatory synaptic responses, optical self-stimulation behaviour was not observed by activation of this pathway. These data indicate that whereas the BLA is important for processing both positive and negative affect, the glutamatergic pathway from the BLA to the NAc, in conjunction with dopamine signalling in the NAc, promotes motivated behavioural responding. Thus, optogenetic manipulation of anatomically distinct synaptic inputs to the NAc reveals functionally distinct properties of these inputs in controlling reward-seeking behaviours.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature10194
View details for Web of Science ID 000292911200042
View details for PubMedID 21716290
- OPTOGENETICS: BACKGROUND AND CONCEPTS FOR NEUROSURGERY NEUROSURGERY 2011; 69 (1): 1-3
Challenges and Opportunities for Next-Generation Intracortically Based Neural Prostheses
IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING
2011; 58 (7): 1891-1899
Neural prosthetic systems aim to help disabled patients by translating neural signals from the brain into control signals for guiding computer cursors, prosthetic arms, and other assistive devices. Intracortical electrode arrays measure action potentials and local field potentials from individual neurons, or small populations of neurons, in the motor cortices and can provide considerable information for controlling prostheses. Despite several compelling proof-of-concept laboratory animal experiments and an initial human clinical trial, at least three key challenges remain which, if left unaddressed, may hamper the translation of these systems into widespread clinical use. We review these challenges: achieving able-bodied levels of performance across tasks and across environments, achieving robustness across multiple decades, and restoring able-bodied quality proprioception and somatosensation. We also describe some emerging opportunities for meeting these challenges. If these challenges can be largely or fully met, intracortically based neural prostheses may achieve true clinical viability and help increasing numbers of disabled patients.
View details for DOI 10.1109/TBME.2011.2107553
View details for Web of Science ID 000291890000003
View details for PubMedID 21257365
High-efficiency channelrhodopsins for fast neuronal stimulation at low light levels
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2011; 108 (18): 7595-7600
Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) has become an indispensable tool in neuroscience, allowing precise induction of action potentials with short light pulses. A limiting factor for many optophysiological experiments is the relatively small photocurrent induced by ChR2. We screened a large number of ChR2 point mutants and discovered a dramatic increase in photocurrent amplitude after threonine-to-cysteine substitution at position 159. When we tested the T159C mutant in hippocampal pyramidal neurons, action potentials could be induced at very low light intensities, where currently available channelrhodopsins were unable to drive spiking. Biophysical characterization revealed that the kinetics of most ChR2 variants slows down considerably at depolarized membrane potentials. We show that the recently published E123T substitution abolishes this voltage sensitivity and speeds up channel kinetics. When we combined T159C with E123T, the resulting double mutant delivered fast photocurrents with large amplitudes and increased the precision of single action potential induction over a broad range of frequencies, suggesting it may become the standard for light-controlled activation of neurons.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1017210108
View details for Web of Science ID 000290203100063
View details for PubMedID 21504945
Functional Integration of Grafted Neural Stem Cell-Derived Dopaminergic Neurons Monitored by Optogenetics in an In Vitro Parkinson Model
2011; 6 (3)
Intrastriatal grafts of stem cell-derived dopamine (DA) neurons induce behavioral recovery in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD), but how they functionally integrate in host neural circuitries is poorly understood. Here, Wnt5a-overexpressing neural stem cells derived from embryonic ventral mesencephalon of tyrosine hydroxylase-GFP transgenic mice were expanded as neurospheres and transplanted into organotypic cultures of wild type mouse striatum. Differentiated GFP-labeled DA neurons in the grafts exhibited mature neuronal properties, including spontaneous firing of action potentials, presence of post-synaptic currents, and functional expression of DA D? autoreceptors. These properties resembled those recorded from identical cells in acute slices of intrastriatal grafts in the 6-hydroxy-DA-induced mouse PD model and from DA neurons in intact substantia nigra. Optogenetic activation or inhibition of grafted cells and host neurons using channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and halorhodopsin (NpHR), respectively, revealed complex, bi-directional synaptic interactions between grafted cells and host neurons and extensive synaptic connectivity within the graft. Our data demonstrate for the first time using optogenetics that ectopically grafted stem cell-derived DA neurons become functionally integrated in the DA-denervated striatum. Further optogenetic dissection of the synaptic wiring between grafted and host neurons will be crucial to clarify the cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying behavioral recovery as well as adverse effects following stem cell-based DA cell replacement strategies in PD.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0017560
View details for Web of Science ID 000288025500016
View details for PubMedID 21394212
An optogenetic toolbox designed for primates
2011; 14 (3): 387-397
Optogenetics is a technique for controlling subpopulations of neurons in the intact brain using light. This technique has the potential to enhance basic systems neuroscience research and to inform the mechanisms and treatment of brain injury and disease. Before launching large-scale primate studies, the method needs to be further characterized and adapted for use in the primate brain. We assessed the safety and efficiency of two viral vector systems (lentivirus and adeno-associated virus), two human promoters (human synapsin (hSyn) and human thymocyte-1 (hThy-1)) and three excitatory and inhibitory mammalian codon-optimized opsins (channelrhodopsin-2, enhanced Natronomonas pharaonis halorhodopsin and the step-function opsin), which we characterized electrophysiologically, histologically and behaviorally in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). We also introduced a new device for measuring in vivo fluorescence over time, allowing minimally invasive assessment of construct expression in the intact brain. We present a set of optogenetic tools designed for optogenetic experiments in the non-human primate brain.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.2749
View details for Web of Science ID 000287650100021
View details for PubMedID 21278729
Active Expiration Induced by Excitation of Ventral Medulla in Adult Anesthetized Rats
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2011; 31 (8): 2895-2905
Data from perinatal and juvenile rodents support our hypothesis that the preBötzinger complex generates inspiratory rhythm and the retrotrapezoid nucleus-parafacial respiratory group (RTN/pFRG) generates active expiration (AE). Although the role of the RTN/pFRG in adulthood is disputed, we hypothesized that its rhythmogenicity persists but is typically silenced by synaptic inhibition. We show in adult anesthetized rats that local pharmacological disinhibition or optogenetic excitation of the RTN/pFRG can generate AE and transforms previously silent RTN/pFRG neurons into rhythmically active cells whose firing is correlated with late-phase active expiration. Brief excitatory stimuli also reset the respiratory rhythm, indicating strong coupling of AE to inspiration. The AE network location in adult rats overlaps with the perinatal pFRG and appears lateral to the chemosensitive region of adult RTN. We suggest that (1) the RTN/pFRG contains a conditional oscillator that generates AE, and (2) at rest and in anesthesia, synaptic inhibition of RTN/pFRG suppresses AE.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5338-10.2011
View details for Web of Science ID 000287670100018
View details for PubMedID 21414911
- An Implantable Optical Stimulation Delivery System for Actuating an Excitable Biosubstrate IEEE JOURNAL OF SOLID-STATE CIRCUITS 2011; 46 (1): 321-332
Approaches to Optical Neuromodulation from Rodents to Non-Human Primates by Integrated Optoelectronic Devices
2011 ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE IEEE ENGINEERING IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY SOCIETY (EMBC)
Methods on rendering neurons in the central nervous system to be light responsive has led to a boom in using optical neuromodulation as a new approach for controlling brain states and understanding neural circuits. In addition to the developing versatility to "optogenetically" labeling of neural cells and their subtypes by microbiological methods, parallel efforts are under way to design and implement optoelectronic devices to achieve simultaneous optical neuromodulation and electrophysiological recording with high spatial and temporal resolution. Such new device-based technologies need to be developed for full exploitation of the promise of optogenetics. In this paper we present single- and multi-element optoelectronic devices developed in our laboratories. The single-unit element, namely the coaxial optrode, was utilized to characterize the neural responses in optogenetically modified rodent and primate models. Furthermore, the multi-element device, integrating the optrode with a 6×6 microelectrode array, was used to characterize the spatiotemporal spread of neural activity in response to single-site optical stimulation in freely moving rats. We suggest that the particular approaches we employed can lead to the emergence of methods where spatio-temporal optical modulation is integrated with real-time read out from neural populations.
View details for Web of Science ID 000298810005260
View details for PubMedID 22256079
- Amygdala circuitry mediating reversible and bidirectional control of anxiety. Nature. 2011; 7338 (471): 358-62
- Optogenetics. Nat Methods. 2011; 1 (8): 26-9
- High-efficiency channelrhodopsins for fast neuronal stimulation at low light levels. 2011
Tracking Stem Cell Differentiation in the Setting of Automated Optogenetic Stimulation
2011; 29 (1): 78-88
Membrane depolarization has been shown to play an important role in the neural differentiation of stem cells and in the survival and function of mature neurons. Here, we introduce a microbial opsin into ESCs and develop optogenetic technology for stem cell engineering applications, with an automated system for noninvasive modulation of ESC differentiation employing fast optogenetic control of ion flux. Mouse ESCs were stably transduced with channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2)-yellow fluorescent protein and purified by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS). Illumination of resulting ChR2-ESCs with pulses of blue light triggered inward currents. These labeled ESCs retained the capability to differentiate into functional mature neurons, assessed by the presence of voltage-gated sodium currents, action potentials, fast excitatory synaptic transmission, and expression of mature neuronal proteins and neuronal morphology. We designed and tested an apparatus for optically stimulating ChR2-ESCs during chronic neuronal differentiation, with high-speed optical switching on a custom robotic stage with environmental chamber for automated stimulation and imaging over days, with tracking for increased expression of neural and neuronal markers. These data point to potential uses of ChR2 technology for chronic and temporally precise noninvasive optical control of ESCs both in vitro and in vivo, ranging from noninvasive control of stem cell differentiation to causal assessment of the specific contribution of transplanted cells to tissue and network function.
View details for DOI 10.1002/stem.558
View details for Web of Science ID 000286659300010
View details for PubMedID 21280159
Drug-Driven AMPA Receptor Redistribution Mimicked by Selective Dopamine Neuron Stimulation
2010; 5 (12)
Addictive drugs have in common that they cause surges in dopamine (DA) concentration in the mesolimbic reward system and elicit synaptic plasticity in DA neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Cocaine for example drives insertion of GluA2-lacking AMPA receptors (AMPARs) at glutamatergic synapes in DA neurons. However it remains elusive which molecular target of cocaine drives such AMPAR redistribution and whether other addictive drugs (morphine and nicotine) cause similar changes through their effects on the mesolimbic DA system.We used in vitro electrophysiological techniques in wild-type and transgenic mice to observe the modulation of excitatory inputs onto DA neurons by addictive drugs. To observe AMPAR redistribution, post-embedding immunohistochemistry for GluA2 AMPAR subunit was combined with electron microscopy. We also used a double-floxed AAV virus expressing channelrhodopsin together with a DAT Cre mouse line to selectively express ChR2 in VTA DA neurons. We find that in mice where the effect of cocaine on the dopamine transporter (DAT) is specifically blocked, AMPAR redistribution was absent following administration of the drug. Furthermore, addictive drugs known to increase dopamine levels cause a similar AMPAR redistribution. Finally, activating DA VTA neurons optogenetically is sufficient to drive insertion of GluA2-lacking AMPARs, mimicking the changes observed after a single injection of morphine, nicotine or cocaine.We propose the mesolimbic dopamine system as a point of convergence at which addictive drugs can alter neural circuits. We also show that direct activation of DA neurons is sufficient to drive AMPAR redistribution, which may be a mechanism associated with early steps of non-substance related addictions.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0015870
View details for Web of Science ID 000285838900044
View details for PubMedID 21209835
Antidepressant Effect of Optogenetic Stimulation of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2010; 30 (48): 16082-16090
Brain stimulation and imaging studies in humans have highlighted a key role for the prefrontal cortex in clinical depression; however, it remains unknown whether excitation or inhibition of prefrontal cortical neuronal activity is associated with antidepressant responses. Here, we examined cellular indicators of functional activity, including the immediate early genes (IEGs) zif268 (egr1), c-fos, and arc, in the prefrontal cortex of clinically depressed humans obtained postmortem. We also examined these genes in the ventral portion of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of mice after chronic social defeat stress, a mouse model of depression. In addition, we used viral vectors to overexpress channel rhodopsin 2 (a light-activated cation channel) in mouse mPFC to optogenetically drive "burst" patterns of cortical firing in vivo and examine the behavioral consequences. Prefrontal cortical tissue derived from clinically depressed humans displayed significant reductions in IEG expression, consistent with a deficit in neuronal activity within this brain region. Mice subjected to chronic social defeat stress exhibited similar reductions in levels of IEG expression in mPFC. Interestingly, some of these changes were not observed in defeated mice that escape the deleterious consequences of the stress, i.e., resilient animals. In those mice that expressed a strong depressive-like phenotype, i.e., susceptible animals, optogenetic stimulation of mPFC exerted potent antidepressant-like effects, without affecting general locomotor activity, anxiety-like behaviors, or social memory. These results indicate that the activity of the mPFC is a key determinant of depression-like behavior, as well as antidepressant responses.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1731-10.2010
View details for Web of Science ID 000284999900003
View details for PubMedID 21123555
Tuning arousal with optogenetic modulation of locus coeruleus neurons
2010; 13 (12): 1526-U117
Neural activity in the noradrenergic locus coeruleus correlates with periods of wakefulness and arousal. However, it is unclear whether tonic or phasic activity in these neurons is necessary or sufficient to induce transitions between behavioral states and to promote long-term arousal. Using optogenetic tools in mice, we found that there is a frequency-dependent, causal relationship among locus coeruleus firing, cortical activity, sleep-to-wake transitions and general locomotor arousal. We also found that sustained, high-frequency stimulation of the locus coeruleus at frequencies of 5 Hz and above caused reversible behavioral arrests. These results suggest that the locus coeruleus is finely tuned to regulate organismal arousal and that bursts of noradrenergic overexcitation cause behavioral attacks that resemble those seen in people with neuropsychiatric disorders.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.2682
View details for Web of Science ID 000284525800018
View details for PubMedID 21037585
Encoding of conditioned fear in central amygdala inhibitory circuits
2010; 468 (7321): 277-U239
The central amygdala (CEA), a nucleus predominantly composed of GABAergic inhibitory neurons, is essential for fear conditioning. How the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear are encoded within CEA inhibitory circuits is not understood. Using in vivo electrophysiological, optogenetic and pharmacological approaches in mice, we show that neuronal activity in the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala (CEl) is required for fear acquisition, whereas conditioned fear responses are driven by output neurons in the medial subdivision (CEm). Functional circuit analysis revealed that inhibitory CEA microcircuits are highly organized and that cell-type-specific plasticity of phasic and tonic activity in the CEl to CEm pathway may gate fear expression and regulate fear generalization. Our results define the functional architecture of CEA microcircuits and their role in the acquisition and regulation of conditioned fear behaviour.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature09559
View details for Web of Science ID 000284051000045
View details for PubMedID 21068837
Genetic dissection of an amygdala microcircuit that gates conditioned fear
2010; 468 (7321): 270-U230
The role of different amygdala nuclei (neuroanatomical subdivisions) in processing Pavlovian conditioned fear has been studied extensively, but the function of the heterogeneous neuronal subtypes within these nuclei remains poorly understood. Here we use molecular genetic approaches to map the functional connectivity of a subpopulation of GABA-containing neurons, located in the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala (CEl), which express protein kinase C-? (PKC-?). Channelrhodopsin-2-assisted circuit mapping in amygdala slices and cell-specific viral tracing indicate that PKC-?(+) neurons inhibit output neurons in the medial central amygdala (CEm), and also make reciprocal inhibitory synapses with PKC-?(-) neurons in CEl. Electrical silencing of PKC-?(+) neurons in vivo suggests that they correspond to physiologically identified units that are inhibited by the conditioned stimulus, called CEl(off) units. This correspondence, together with behavioural data, defines an inhibitory microcircuit in CEl that gates CEm output to control the level of conditioned freezing.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature09553
View details for Web of Science ID 000284051000044
View details for PubMedID 21068836
Functional Control of Transplantable Human ESC-Derived Neurons via Optogenetic Targeting
2010; 28 (11): 2008-2016
Current methods to examine and regulate the functional integration and plasticity of human ESC (hESC)-derived neurons are cumbersome and technically challenging. Here, we engineered hESCs and their derivatives to express the light-gated channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) protein to overcome these deficiencies. Optogenetic targeting of hESC-derived neurons with ChR2 linked to the mCherry fluorophore allowed reliable cell tracking as well as light-induced spiking at physiological frequencies. Optically induced excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents could be elicited in either ChR2(+) or ChR2(-) neurons in vitro and in acute brain slices taken from transplanted severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. Furthermore, we created a clonal hESC line that expresses ChR2-mCherry under the control of the synapsin-1 promoter. On neuronal differentiation, ChR2-mCherry expression was restricted to neurons and was stably expressed for at least 6 months, providing more predictable light-induced currents than transient infections. This pluripotent cell line will allow both in vitro and in vivo analysis of functional development as well as the integration capacity of neuronal populations for cell-replacement strategies.
View details for DOI 10.1002/stem.514
View details for Web of Science ID 000284395900011
View details for PubMedID 20827747
Cell Type-Specific Loss of BDNF Signaling Mimics Optogenetic Control of Cocaine Reward
2010; 330 (6002): 385-390
The nucleus accumbens is a key mediator of cocaine reward, but the distinct roles of the two subpopulations of nucleus accumbens projection neurons, those expressing dopamine D1 versus D2 receptors, are poorly understood. We show that deletion of TrkB, the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) receptor, selectively from D1+ or D2+ neurons oppositely affects cocaine reward. Because loss of TrkB in D2+ neurons increases their neuronal excitability, we next used optogenetic tools to control selectively the firing rate of D1+ and D2+ nucleus accumbens neurons and studied consequent effects on cocaine reward. Activation of D2+ neurons, mimicking the loss of TrkB, suppresses cocaine reward, with opposite effects induced by activation of D1+ neurons. These results provide insight into the molecular control of D1+ and D2+ neuronal activity as well as the circuit-level contribution of these cell types to cocaine reward.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1188472
View details for Web of Science ID 000282986700045
View details for PubMedID 20947769
Orderly recruitment of motor units under optical control in vivo
2010; 16 (10): 1161-U144
A drawback of electrical stimulation for muscle control is that large, fatigable motor units are preferentially recruited before smaller motor units by the lowest-intensity electrical cuff stimulation. This phenomenon limits therapeutic applications because it is precisely the opposite of the normal physiological (orderly) recruitment pattern; therefore, a mechanism to achieve orderly recruitment has been a long-sought goal in physiology, medicine and engineering. Here we demonstrate a technology for reliable orderly recruitment in vivo. We find that under optical control with microbial opsins, recruitment of motor units proceeds in the physiological recruitment sequence, as indicated by multiple independent measures of motor unit recruitment including conduction latency, contraction and relaxation times, stimulation threshold and fatigue. As a result, we observed enhanced performance and reduced fatigue in vivo. These findings point to an unanticipated new modality of neural control with broad implications for nervous system and neuromuscular physiology, disease research and therapeutic innovation.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nm.2228
View details for Web of Science ID 000282644800049
View details for PubMedID 20871612
Astrocytes Control Breathing Through pH-Dependent Release of ATP
2010; 329 (5991): 571-575
Astrocytes provide structural and metabolic support for neuronal networks, but direct evidence demonstrating their active role in complex behaviors is limited. Central respiratory chemosensitivity is an essential mechanism that, via regulation of breathing, maintains constant levels of blood and brain pH and partial pressure of CO2. We found that astrocytes of the brainstem chemoreceptor areas are highly chemosensitive. They responded to physiological decreases in pH with vigorous elevations in intracellular Ca2+ and release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP propagated astrocytic Ca2+ excitation, activated chemoreceptor neurons, and induced adaptive increases in breathing. Mimicking pH-evoked Ca2+ responses by means of optogenetic stimulation of astrocytes expressing channelrhodopsin-2 activated chemoreceptor neurons via an ATP-dependent mechanism and triggered robust respiratory responses in vivo. This demonstrates a potentially crucial role for brain glial cells in mediating a fundamental physiological reflex.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1190721
View details for Web of Science ID 000280483500039
View details for PubMedID 20647426
Regulation of parkinsonian motor behaviours by optogenetic control of basal ganglia circuitry
2010; 466 (7306): 622-U7
Neural circuits of the basal ganglia are critical for motor planning and action selection. Two parallel basal ganglia pathways have been described, and have been proposed to exert opposing influences on motor function. According to this classical model, activation of the 'direct' pathway facilitates movement and activation of the 'indirect' pathway inhibits movement. However, more recent anatomical and functional evidence has called into question the validity of this hypothesis. Because this model has never been empirically tested, the specific function of these circuits in behaving animals remains unknown. Here we report direct activation of basal ganglia circuitry in vivo, using optogenetic control of direct- and indirect-pathway medium spiny projection neurons (MSNs), achieved through Cre-dependent viral expression of channelrhodopsin-2 in the striatum of bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic mice expressing Cre recombinase under control of regulatory elements for the dopamine D1 or D2 receptor. Bilateral excitation of indirect-pathway MSNs elicited a parkinsonian state, distinguished by increased freezing, bradykinesia and decreased locomotor initiations. In contrast, activation of direct-pathway MSNs reduced freezing and increased locomotion. In a mouse model of Parkinson's disease, direct-pathway activation completely rescued deficits in freezing, bradykinesia and locomotor initiation. Taken together, our findings establish a critical role for basal ganglia circuitry in the bidirectional regulation of motor behaviour and indicate that modulation of direct-pathway circuitry may represent an effective therapeutic strategy for ameliorating parkinsonian motor deficits.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature09159
View details for Web of Science ID 000280412100053
View details for PubMedID 20613723
Genetic Reactivation of Cone Photoreceptors Restores Visual Responses in Retinitis Pigmentosa
2010; 329 (5990): 413-417
Retinitis pigmentosa refers to a diverse group of hereditary diseases that lead to incurable blindness, affecting two million people worldwide. As a common pathology, rod photoreceptors die early, whereas light-insensitive, morphologically altered cone photoreceptors persist longer. It is unknown if these cones are accessible for therapeutic intervention. Here, we show that expression of archaebacterial halorhodopsin in light-insensitive cones can substitute for the native phototransduction cascade and restore light sensitivity in mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa. Resensitized photoreceptors activate all retinal cone pathways, drive sophisticated retinal circuit functions (including directional selectivity), activate cortical circuits, and mediate visually guided behaviors. Using human ex vivo retinas, we show that halorhodopsin can reactivate light-insensitive human photoreceptors. Finally, we identified blind patients with persisting, light-insensitive cones for potential halorhodopsin-based therapy.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1190897
View details for Web of Science ID 000280196500030
View details for PubMedID 20576849
Optical activation of lateral amygdala pyramidal cells instructs associative fear learning
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2010; 107 (28): 12692-12697
Humans and animals can learn that specific sensory cues in the environment predict aversive events through a form of associative learning termed fear conditioning. This learning occurs when the sensory cues are paired with an aversive event occurring in close temporal proximity. Activation of lateral amygdala (LA) pyramidal neurons by aversive stimuli is thought to drive the formation of these associative fear memories; yet, there have been no direct tests of this hypothesis. Here we demonstrate that viral-targeted, tissue-specific expression of the light-activated channelrhodopsin (ChR2) in LA pyramidal cells permitted optical control of LA neuronal activity. Using this approach we then paired an auditory sensory cue with optical stimulation of LA pyramidal neurons instead of an aversive stimulus. Subsequently presentation of the tone alone produced behavioral fear responses. These results demonstrate in vivo optogenetic control of LA neurons and provide compelling support for the idea that fear learning is instructed by aversive stimulus-induced activation of LA pyramidal cells.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1002418107
View details for Web of Science ID 000279843200054
View details for PubMedID 20615999
Global and local fMRI signals driven by neurons defined optogenetically by type and wiring
2010; 465 (7299): 788-792
Despite a rapidly-growing scientific and clinical brain imaging literature based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) using blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals, it remains controversial whether BOLD signals in a particular region can be caused by activation of local excitatory neurons. This difficult question is central to the interpretation and utility of BOLD, with major significance for fMRI studies in basic research and clinical applications. Using a novel integrated technology unifying optogenetic control of inputs with high-field fMRI signal readouts, we show here that specific stimulation of local CaMKIIalpha-expressing excitatory neurons, either in the neocortex or thalamus, elicits positive BOLD signals at the stimulus location with classical kinetics. We also show that optogenetic fMRI (of MRI) allows visualization of the causal effects of specific cell types defined not only by genetic identity and cell body location, but also by axonal projection target. Finally, we show that of MRI within the living and intact mammalian brain reveals BOLD signals in downstream targets distant from the stimulus, indicating that this approach can be used to map the global effects of controlling a local cell population. In this respect, unlike both conventional fMRI studies based on correlations and fMRI with electrical stimulation that will also directly drive afferent and nearby axons, this of MRI approach provides causal information about the global circuits recruited by defined local neuronal activity patterns. Together these findings provide an empirical foundation for the widely-used fMRI BOLD signal, and the features of of MRI define a potent tool that may be suitable for functional circuit analysis as well as global phenotyping of dysfunctional circuitry.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature09108
View details for Web of Science ID 000278551800047
View details for PubMedID 20473285
Glutamatergic Signaling by Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2010; 30 (20): 7105-7110
Recent evidence suggests the intriguing possibility that midbrain dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons may use fast glutamatergic transmission to communicate with their postsynaptic targets. Because of technical limitations, direct demonstration of the existence of this signaling mechanism has been limited to experiments using cell culture preparations that often alter neuronal function including neurotransmitter phenotype. Consequently, it remains uncertain whether glutamatergic signaling between DAergic neurons and their postsynaptic targets exists under physiological conditions. Here, using an optogenetic approach, we provide the first conclusive demonstration that mesolimbic DAergic neurons in mice release glutamate and elicit excitatory postsynaptic responses in projection neurons of the nucleus accumbens. In addition, we describe the properties of the postsynaptic glutamatergic responses of these neurons during experimentally evoked burst firing of DAergic axons that reproduce the reward-related phasic population activity of the mesolimbic projection. These observations indicate that, in addition to DAergic mechanisms, mesolimbic reward signaling may involve glutamatergic transmission.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0265-10.2010
View details for Web of Science ID 000277844700032
View details for PubMedID 20484653
Dlx5 and Dlx6 Regulate the Development of Parvalbumin-Expressing Cortical Interneurons
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2010; 30 (15): 5334-5345
Dlx5 and Dlx6 homeobox genes are expressed in developing and mature cortical interneurons. Simultaneous deletion of Dlx5 and 6 results in exencephaly of the anterior brain; despite this defect, prenatal basal ganglia differentiation appeared largely intact, while tangential migration of Lhx6(+) and Mafb(+) interneurons to the cortex was reduced and disordered. The migration deficits were associated with reduced CXCR4 expression. Transplantation of mutant immature interneurons into a wild-type brain demonstrated that loss of either Dlx5 or Dlx5&6 preferentially reduced the number of mature parvalbumin(+) interneurons; those parvalbumin(+) interneurons that were present had increased dendritic branching. Dlx5/6(+/-) mice, which appear normal histologically, show spontaneous electrographic seizures and reduced power of gamma oscillations. Thus, Dlx5&6 appeared to be required for development and function of somal innervating (parvalbumin(+)) neocortical interneurons. This contrasts with Dlx1, whose function is required for dendrite innervating (calretinin(+), somatostatin(+), and neuropeptide Y(+)) interneurons (Cobos et al., 2005).
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5963-09.2010
View details for Web of Science ID 000276685100021
View details for PubMedID 20392955
Molecular and Cellular Approaches for Diversifying and Extending Optogenetics
2010; 141 (1): 154-165
Optogenetic technologies employ light to control biological processes within targeted cells in vivo with high temporal precision. Here, we show that application of molecular trafficking principles can expand the optogenetic repertoire along several long-sought dimensions. Subcellular and transcellular trafficking strategies now permit (1) optical regulation at the far-red/infrared border and extension of optogenetic control across the entire visible spectrum, (2) increased potency of optical inhibition without increased light power requirement (nanoampere-scale chloride-mediated photocurrents that maintain the light sensitivity and reversible, step-like kinetic stability of earlier tools), and (3) generalizable strategies for targeting cells based not only on genetic identity, but also on morphology and tissue topology, to allow versatile targeting when promoters are not known or in genetically intractable organisms. Together, these results illustrate use of cell-biological principles to enable expansion of the versatile fast optogenetic technologies suitable for intact-systems biology and behavior.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2010.02.037
View details for Web of Science ID 000276211100020
View details for PubMedID 20303157
Ultrafast optogenetic control
2010; 13 (3): 387-U27
Channelrhodopsins such as channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) can drive spiking with millisecond precision in a wide variety of cells, tissues and animal species. However, several properties of this protein have limited the precision of optogenetic control. First, when ChR2 is expressed at high levels, extra spikes (for example, doublets) can occur in response to a single light pulse, with potential implications as doublets may be important for neural coding. Second, many cells cannot follow ChR2-driven spiking above the gamma (approximately 40 Hz) range in sustained trains, preventing temporally stationary optogenetic access to a broad and important neural signaling band. Finally, rapid optically driven spike trains can result in plateau potentials of 10 mV or more, causing incidental upstates with information-processing implications. We designed and validated an engineered opsin gene (ChETA) that addresses all of these limitations (profoundly reducing extra spikes, eliminating plateau potentials and allowing temporally stationary, sustained spike trains up to at least 200 Hz).
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.2495
View details for Web of Science ID 000274860100022
View details for PubMedID 20081849
Targeted optogenetic stimulation and recording of neurons in vivo using cell-type-specific expression of Channelrhodopsin-2
2010; 5 (2): 247-254
A major long-term goal of systems neuroscience is to identify the different roles of neural subtypes in brain circuit function. The ability to causally manipulate selective cell types is critical to meeting this goal. This protocol describes techniques for optically stimulating specific populations of excitatory neurons and inhibitory interneurons in vivo in combination with electrophysiology. Cell type selectivity is obtained using Cre-dependent expression of the light-activated channel Channelrhodopsin-2. We also describe approaches for minimizing optical interference with simultaneous extracellular and intracellular recording. These optogenetic techniques provide a spatially and temporally precise means of studying neural activity in the intact brain and allow a detailed examination of the effect of evoked activity on the surrounding local neural network. Injection of viral vectors requires 30-45 min, and in vivo electrophysiology with optogenetic stimulation requires 1-4 h.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nprot.2009.228
View details for Web of Science ID 000275204300007
View details for PubMedID 20134425
Optogenetic interrogation of neural circuits: technology for probing mammalian brain structures
2010; 5 (3): 439-456
Elucidation of the neural substrates underlying complex animal behaviors depends on precise activity control tools, as well as compatible readout methods. Recent developments in optogenetics have addressed this need, opening up new possibilities for systems neuroscience. Interrogation of even deep neural circuits can be conducted by directly probing the necessity and sufficiency of defined circuit elements with millisecond-scale, cell type-specific optical perturbations, coupled with suitable readouts such as electrophysiology, optical circuit dynamics measures and freely moving behavior in mammals. Here we collect in detail our strategies for delivering microbial opsin genes to deep mammalian brain structures in vivo, along with protocols for integrating the resulting optical control with compatible readouts (electrophysiological, optical and behavioral). The procedures described here, from initial virus preparation to systems-level functional readout, can be completed within 4-5 weeks. Together, these methods may help in providing circuit-level insight into the dynamics underlying complex mammalian behaviors in health and disease.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nprot.2009.226
View details for Web of Science ID 000275234900006
View details for PubMedID 20203662
- Controlling the brain with light Sci Am. 2010; 5 (303): 48-55
- Optical activation of lateral amygdala pyramidal cells instructs associative fear leaJohansen JP, Hamanaka H, Monfils MH, Behnia R, Deisseroth K, Blair HT, LeDoux JE. rning. 2010
- Special issue on optical neural engineering: advances in optical stimulation technology. J Neural Eng. 2010; 4 (7): 040201
- Orderly recruitment of motor units under optical control in vivo. Nat Med. 2010; 10 (16): 1161-5
Optogenetic dissection of neuronal circuits in zebrafish using viral gene transfer and the Tet system
FRONTIERS IN NEURAL CIRCUITS
The conditional expression of transgenes at high levels in sparse and specific populations of neurons is important for high-resolution optogenetic analyses of neuronal circuits. We explored two complementary methods, viral gene delivery and the iTet-Off system, to express transgenes in the brain of zebrafish. High-level gene expression in neurons was achieved by Sindbis and Rabies viruses. The Tet system produced strong and specific gene expression that could be modulated conveniently by doxycycline. Moreover, transgenic lines showed expression in distinct, sparse and stable populations of neurons that appeared to be subsets of the neurons targeted by the promoter driving the Tet-activator. The Tet system therefore provides the opportunity to generate libraries of diverse expression patterns similar to gene trap approaches or the thy-1 promoter in mice, but with the additional possibility to pre-select cell types of interest. In transgenic lines expressing channelrhodopsin-2, action potential firing could be precisely controlled by two-photon stimulation at low laser power, presumably because the expression levels of the Tet-controlled genes were high even in adults. In channelrhodopsin-2-expressing larvae, optical stimulation with a single blue LED evoked distinct swimming behaviors including backward swimming. These approaches provide new opportunities for the optogenetic dissection of neuronal circuit structure and function.
View details for DOI 10.3389/neuro.04.021.2009
View details for Web of Science ID 000207896400001
View details for PubMedID 20126518
Integrated device for optical stimulation and spatiotemporal electrical recording of neural activity in light-sensitized brain tissue
JOURNAL OF NEURAL ENGINEERING
2009; 6 (5)
Neural stimulation with high spatial and temporal precision is desirable both for studying the real-time dynamics of neural networks and for prospective clinical treatment of neurological diseases. Optical stimulation of genetically targeted neurons expressing the light sensitive channel protein Channelrhodopsin (ChR2) has recently been reported as a means for millisecond temporal control of neuronal spiking activities with cell-type selectivity. This offers the prospect of enabling local delivery of optical stimulation and the simultaneous monitoring of the neural activity by electrophysiological means, both in the vicinity of and distant to the stimulation site. We report here a novel dual-modality hybrid device, which consists of a tapered coaxial optical waveguide ('optrode') integrated into a 100 element intra-cortical multi-electrode recording array. We first demonstrate the dual optical delivery and electrical recording capability of the single optrode in in vitro preparations of mouse retina, photo-stimulating the native retinal photoreceptors while recording light-responsive activities from ganglion cells. The dual-modality array device was then used in ChR2 transfected mouse brain slices. Specifically, epileptiform events were reliably optically triggered by the optrode and their spatiotemporal patterns were simultaneously recorded by the multi-electrode array.
View details for DOI 10.1088/1741-2560/6/5/055007
View details for Web of Science ID 000270670400009
View details for PubMedID 19721185
Sleep Homeostasis Modulates Hypocretin-Mediated Sleep-to-Wake Transitions
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2009; 29 (35): 10939-10949
The hypocretins (Hcrts) (also called orexins) are two neuropeptides expressed in the lateral hypothalamus that play a crucial role in the stability of wakefulness. Previously, our laboratory demonstrated that in vivo photostimulation of Hcrt neurons genetically targeted with ChR2, a light-activated cation channel, was sufficient to increase the probability of an awakening event during both slow-wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep. In the current study, we ask whether Hcrt-mediated sleep-to-wake transitions are affected by light/dark period and sleep pressure. We found that stimulation of Hcrt neurons increased the probability of an awakening event throughout the entire light/dark period but that this effect was diminished with sleep pressure induced by 2 or 4 h of sleep deprivation. Interestingly, photostimulation of Hcrt neurons was still sufficient to increase activity assessed by c-Fos expression in Hcrt neurons after sleep deprivation, although this stimulation did not cause an increase in transitions to wakefulness. In addition, we found that photostimulation of Hcrt neurons increases neural activity assessed by c-Fos expression in the downstream arousal-promoting locus ceruleus and tuberomammilary nucleus but not after 2 h of sleep deprivation. Finally, stimulation of Hcrt neurons was still sufficient to increase the probability of an awakening event in histidine decarboxylase-deficient knock-out animals. Collectively, these results suggest that the Hcrt system promotes wakefulness throughout the light/dark period by activating multiple downstream targets, which themselves are inhibited with increased sleep pressure.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1205-09.2009
View details for Web of Science ID 000269518500018
View details for PubMedID 19726652
Optogenetic control of epileptiform activity
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2009; 106 (29): 12162-12167
The optogenetic approach to gain control over neuronal excitability both in vitro and in vivo has emerged as a fascinating scientific tool to explore neuronal networks, but it also opens possibilities for developing novel treatment strategies for neurologic conditions. We have explored whether such an optogenetic approach using the light-driven halorhodopsin chloride pump from Natronomonas pharaonis (NpHR), modified for mammalian CNS expression to hyperpolarize central neurons, may inhibit excessive hyperexcitability and epileptiform activity. We show that a lentiviral vector containing the NpHR gene under the calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIalpha promoter transduces principal cells of the hippocampus and cortex and hyperpolarizes these cells, preventing generation of action potentials and epileptiform activity during optical stimulation. This study proves a principle, that selective hyperpolarization of principal cortical neurons by NpHR is sufficient to curtail paroxysmal activity in transduced neurons and can inhibit stimulation train-induced bursting in hippocampal organotypic slice cultures, which represents a model tissue of pharmacoresistant epilepsy. This study demonstrates that the optogenetic approach may prove useful for controlling epileptiform activity and opens a future perspective to develop it into a strategy to treat epilepsy.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0901915106
View details for Web of Science ID 000268178400062
View details for PubMedID 19581573
Induced chromosome deletions cause hypersociability and other features of Williams-Beuren syndrome in mice
EMBO MOLECULAR MEDICINE
2009; 1 (1): 50-65
The neurodevelopmental disorder Williams-Beuren syndrome is caused by spontaneous approximately 1.5 Mb deletions comprising 25 genes on human chromosome 7q11.23. To functionally dissect the deletion and identify dosage-sensitive genes, we created two half-deletions of the conserved syntenic region on mouse chromosome 5G2. Proximal deletion (PD) mice lack Gtf2i to Limk1, distal deletion (DD) mice lack Limk1 to Fkbp6, and the double heterozygotes (D/P) model the complete human deletion. Gene transcript levels in brain are generally consistent with gene dosage. Increased sociability and acoustic startle response are associated with PD, and cognitive defects with DD. Both PD and D/P males are growth-retarded, while skulls are shortened and brains are smaller in DD and D/P. Lateral ventricle (LV) volumes are reduced, and neuronal cell density in the somatosensory cortex is increased, in PD and D/P. Motor skills are most impaired in D/P. Together, these partial deletion mice replicate crucial aspects of the human disorder and serve to identify genes and gene networks contributing to the neural substrates of complex behaviours and behavioural disorders.
View details for DOI 10.1002/emmm.200900003
View details for Web of Science ID 000273437400010
View details for PubMedID 20049703
Bi-stable neural state switches
2009; 12 (2): 229-234
Here we describe bi-stable channelrhodopsins that convert a brief pulse of light into a stable step in membrane potential. These molecularly engineered probes nevertheless retain millisecond-scale temporal precision. Photocurrents can be precisely initiated and terminated with different colors of light, but operate at vastly longer time scales than conventional channelrhodopsins as a result of modification at the C128 position that extends the lifetime of the open state. Because of their enhanced kinetic stability, these step-function tools are also effectively responsive to light at orders of magnitude lower intensity than wild-type channelrhodopsins. These molecules therefore offer important new capabilities for a broad range of in vivo applications.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.2247
View details for Web of Science ID 000263182000024
View details for PubMedID 19079251
Escape behavior elicited by single, Channelrhodopsin-2-evoked spikes in zebrafish somatosensory neurons
2008; 18 (15): 1133-1137
Somatosensory neurons in teleosts and amphibians are sensitive to thermal, mechanical, or nociceptive stimuli [1, 2]. The two main types of such cells in zebrafish--Rohon-Beard and trigeminal neurons--have served as models for neural development [3-6], but little is known about how they encode tactile stimuli. The hindbrain networks that transduce somatosensory stimuli into a motor output encode information by using very few spikes in a small number of cells , but it is unclear whether activity in the primary receptor neurons is similarly efficient. To address this question, we manipulated the activity of zebrafish neurons with the light-activated cation channel, Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) [8, 9]. We found that photoactivation of ChR2 in genetically defined populations of somatosensory neurons triggered escape behaviors in 24-hr-old zebrafish. Electrophysiological recordings from ChR2-positive trigeminal neurons in intact fish revealed that these cells have extremely low rates of spontaneous activity and can be induced to fire by brief pulses of blue light. Using this technique, we find that even a single action potential in a single sensory neuron was at times sufficient to evoke an escape behavior. These results establish ChR2 as a powerful tool for the manipulation of neural activity in zebrafish and reveal a degree of efficiency in coding that has not been found in primary sensory neurons.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2008.06.077
View details for Web of Science ID 000258262800026
View details for PubMedID 18682213
eNpHR: a Natronomonas halorhodopsin enhanced for optogenetic applications
BRAIN CELL BIOLOGY
2008; 36 (1-4): 129-139
Temporally precise inhibition of distinct cell types in the intact nervous system has been enabled by the microbial halorhodopsin NpHR, a fast light-activated electrogenic Cl(-) pump. While neurons can be optically hyperpolarized and inhibited from firing action potentials at moderate NpHR expression levels, we have encountered challenges with pushing expression to extremely high levels, including apparent intracellular accumulations. We therefore sought to molecularly engineer NpHR to achieve strong expression without these cellular side effects. We found that high expression correlated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) accumulation, and that under these conditions NpHR colocalized with ER proteins containing the KDEL ER retention sequence. We screened a number of different putative modulators of membrane trafficking and identified a combination of two motifs, an N-terminal signal peptide and a C-terminal ER export sequence, that markedly promoted membrane localization and ER export defined by confocal microscopy and whole-cell patch clamp. The modified NpHR displayed increased peak photocurrent in the absence of aggregations or toxicity, and potent optical inhibition was observed not only in vitro but also in vivo with thalamic single-unit recording. The new enhanced NpHR (eNpHR) allows safe, high-level expression in mammalian neurons, without toxicity and with augmented inhibitory function, in vitro and in vivo.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11068-008-9027-6
View details for Web of Science ID 000261177500011
View details for PubMedID 18677566
Improved expression of halorhodopsin for light-induced silencing of neuronal activity
BRAIN CELL BIOLOGY
2008; 36 (1-4): 141-154
The ability to control and manipulate neuronal activity within an intact mammalian brain is of key importance for mapping functional connectivity and for dissecting the neural circuitry underlying behaviors. We have previously generated transgenic mice that express channelrhodopsin-2 for light-induced activation of neurons and mapping of neural circuits. Here we describe transgenic mice that express halorhodopsin (NpHR), a light-driven chloride pump that can be used to silence neuronal activity via light. Using the Thy-1 promoter to target NpHR expression to neurons, we found that neurons in these mice expressed high levels of NpHR-YFP and that illumination of cortical pyramidal neurons expressing NpHR-YFP led to rapid, reversible photoinhibition of action potential firing in these cells. However, NpHR-YFP expression led to the formation of numerous intracellular blebs, which may disrupt neuronal function. Labeling of various subcellular markers indicated that the blebs arise from retention of NpHR-YFP in the endoplasmic reticulum. By improving the signal peptide sequence and adding an ER export signal to NpHR-YFP, we eliminated the formation of blebs and dramatically increased the membrane expression of NpHR-YFP. Thus, the improved version of NpHR should serve as an excellent tool for neuronal silencing in vitro and in vivo.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11068-008-9034-7
View details for Web of Science ID 000261177500012
View details for PubMedID 18931914
- Brain circuit dynamics AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY 2008; 165 (7): 800-800
Red-shifted optogenetic excitation: a tool for fast neural control derived from Volvox carteri
2008; 11 (6): 631-633
The introduction of two microbial opsin-based tools, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and halorhodopsin (NpHR), to neuroscience has generated interest in fast, multimodal, cell type-specific neural circuit control. Here we describe a cation-conducting channelrhodopsin (VChR1) from Volvox carteri that can drive spiking at 589 nm, with excitation maximum red-shifted approximately 70 nm compared with ChR2. These results demonstrate fast photostimulation with yellow light, thereby defining a functionally distinct third category of microbial rhodopsin proteins.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.2120
View details for Web of Science ID 000256133700007
View details for PubMedID 18432196
- Controlling neuronal activity AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY 2008; 165 (5): 562-562
- Red-shifted optogenetic excitation: a tool for fast neural control derived from Volvox carteri. Nat Neurosci. 2008; 6 (11): 631-3
- Brain circuit dynamics Am J Psychiatry. 2008; 7 (165): 800
- Targeting and readout strategies for fast optical neural control in vitro and in vivo JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE 2007; 27 (52): 14231-14238
Nociceptive neurons protect Drosophila larvae from parasitoid wasps
2007; 17 (24): 2105-2116
Natural selection has resulted in a complex and fascinating repertoire of innate behaviors that are produced by insects. One puzzling example occurs in fruit fly larvae that have been subjected to a noxious mechanical or thermal sensory input. In response, the larvae "roll" with a motor pattern that is completely distinct from the style of locomotion that is used for foraging.We have precisely mapped the sensory neurons that are used by the Drosophila larvae to detect nociceptive stimuli. By using complementary optogenetic activation and targeted silencing of sensory neurons, we have demonstrated that a single class of neuron (class IV multidendritic neuron) is sufficient and necessary for triggering the unusual rolling behavior. In addition, we find that larvae have an innately encoded preference in the directionality of rolling. Surprisingly, the initial direction of rolling locomotion is toward the side of the body that has been stimulated. We propose that directional rolling might provide a selective advantage in escape from parasitoid wasps that are ubiquitously present in the natural environment of Drosophila. Consistent with this hypothesis, we have documented that larvae can escape the attack of Leptopilina boulardi parasitoid wasps by rolling, occasionally flipping the attacker onto its back.The class IV multidendritic neurons of Drosophila larvae are nociceptive. The nociception behavior of Drosophila melanagaster larvae includes an innately encoded directional preference. Nociception behavior is elicited by the ecologically relevant sensory stimulus of parasitoid wasp attack.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2007.11.029
View details for Web of Science ID 000251852200022
View details for PubMedID 18060782
Neural substrates of awakening probed with optogenetic control of hypocretin neurons
2007; 450 (7168): 420-U9
The neural underpinnings of sleep involve interactions between sleep-promoting areas such as the anterior hypothalamus, and arousal systems located in the posterior hypothalamus, the basal forebrain and the brainstem. Hypocretin (Hcrt, also known as orexin)-producing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus are important for arousal stability, and loss of Hcrt function has been linked to narcolepsy. However, it is unknown whether electrical activity arising from Hcrt neurons is sufficient to drive awakening from sleep states or is simply correlated with it. Here we directly probed the impact of Hcrt neuron activity on sleep state transitions with in vivo neural photostimulation, genetically targeting channelrhodopsin-2 to Hcrt cells and using an optical fibre to deliver light deep in the brain, directly into the lateral hypothalamus, of freely moving mice. We found that direct, selective, optogenetic photostimulation of Hcrt neurons increased the probability of transition to wakefulness from either slow wave sleep or rapid eye movement sleep. Notably, photostimulation using 5-30 Hz light pulse trains reduced latency to wakefulness, whereas 1 Hz trains did not. This study establishes a causal relationship between frequency-dependent activity of a genetically defined neural cell type and a specific mammalian behaviour central to clinical conditions and neurobehavioural physiology.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature06310
View details for Web of Science ID 000250918600055
View details for PubMedID 17943086
Integration of light-controlled neuronal firing and fast circuit imaging
CURRENT OPINION IN NEUROBIOLOGY
2007; 17 (5): 587-592
For understanding normal and pathological circuit function, capitalizing on the full potential of recent advances in fast optical neural circuit control will depend crucially on fast, intact-circuit readout technology. First, millisecond-scale optical control will be best leveraged with simultaneous millisecond-scale optical imaging. Second, both fast circuit control and imaging should be adaptable to intact-circuit preparations from normal and diseased subjects. Here we illustrate integration of fast optical circuit control and fast circuit imaging, review recent work demonstrating utility of applying fast imaging to quantifying activity flow in disease models, and discuss integration of diverse optogenetic and chemical genetic tools that have been developed to precisely control the activity of genetically specified neural populations. Together these neuroengineering advances raise the exciting prospect of determining the role-specific cell types play in modulating neural activity flow in neuropsychiatric disease.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.conb.2007.11.003
View details for Web of Science ID 000252835100013
View details for PubMedID 18093822
An optical neural interface: in vivo control of rodent motor cortex with integrated fiberoptic and optogenetic technology
JOURNAL OF NEURAL ENGINEERING
2007; 4 (3): S143-S156
Neural interface technology has made enormous strides in recent years but stimulating electrodes remain incapable of reliably targeting specific cell types (e.g. excitatory or inhibitory neurons) within neural tissue. This obstacle has major scientific and clinical implications. For example, there is intense debate among physicians, neuroengineers and neuroscientists regarding the relevant cell types recruited during deep brain stimulation (DBS); moreover, many debilitating side effects of DBS likely result from lack of cell-type specificity. We describe here a novel optical neural interface technology that will allow neuroengineers to optically address specific cell types in vivo with millisecond temporal precision. Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), an algal light-activated ion channel we developed for use in mammals, can give rise to safe, light-driven stimulation of CNS neurons on a timescale of milliseconds. Because ChR2 is genetically targetable, specific populations of neurons even sparsely embedded within intact circuitry can be stimulated with high temporal precision. Here we report the first in vivo behavioral demonstration of a functional optical neural interface (ONI) in intact animals, involving integrated fiberoptic and optogenetic technology. We developed a solid-state laser diode system that can be pulsed with millisecond precision, outputs 20 mW of power at 473 nm, and is coupled to a lightweight, flexible multimode optical fiber, approximately 200 microm in diameter. To capitalize on the unique advantages of this system, we specifically targeted ChR2 to excitatory cells in vivo with the CaMKIIalpha promoter. Under these conditions, the intensity of light exiting the fiber ( approximately 380 mW mm(-2)) was sufficient to drive excitatory neurons in vivo and control motor cortex function with behavioral output in intact rodents. No exogenous chemical cofactor was needed at any point, a crucial finding for in vivo work in large mammals. Achieving modulation of behavior with optical control of neuronal subtypes may give rise to fundamental network-level insights complementary to what electrode methodologies have taught us, and the emerging optogenetic toolkit may find application across a broad range of neuroscience, neuroengineering and clinical questions.
View details for DOI 10.1088/1741-2560/4/3/S02
View details for Web of Science ID 000250181600003
View details for PubMedID 17873414
High-speed Imaging reveals neurophysiological links to behavior in an animal model of depression
2007; 317 (5839): 819-823
The hippocampus is one of several brain areas thought to play a central role in affective behaviors, but the underlying local network dynamics are not understood. We used quantitative voltage-sensitive dye imaging to probe hippocampal dynamics with millisecond resolution in brain slices after bidirectional modulation of affective state in rat models of depression. We found that a simple measure of real-time activity-stimulus-evoked percolation of activity through the dentate gyrus relative to the hippocampal output subfield-accounted for induced changes in animal behavior independent of the underlying mechanism of action of the treatments. Our results define a circuit-level neurophysiological endophenotype for affective behavior and suggest an approach to understanding circuit-level substrates underlying psychiatric disease symptoms.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1144400
View details for Web of Science ID 000248624500045
View details for PubMedID 17615305
Circuit-breakers: optical technologies for probing neural signals and systems
NATURE REVIEWS NEUROSCIENCE
2007; 8 (8): 577-581
Neuropsychiatric disorders, which arise from a combination of genetic, epigenetic and environmental influences, epitomize the challenges faced in understanding the mammalian brain. Elucidation and treatment of these diseases will benefit from understanding how specific brain cell types are interconnected and signal in neural circuits. Newly developed neuroengineering tools based on two microbial opsins, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and halorhodopsin (NpHR), enable the investigation of neural circuit function with cell-type-specific, temporally accurate and reversible neuromodulation. These tools could lead to the development of precise neuromodulation technologies for animal models of disease and clinical neuropsychiatry.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nrn2192
View details for Web of Science ID 000248211800012
View details for PubMedID 17643087
High-speed mapping of synaptic connectivity using photostimulation in Channel rhodopsin-2 transgenic mice
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2007; 104 (19): 8143-8148
To permit rapid optical control of brain activity, we have engineered multiple lines of transgenic mice that express the light-activated cation channel Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in subsets of neurons. Illumination of ChR2-positive neurons in brain slices produced photocurrents that generated action potentials within milliseconds and with precisely timed latencies. The number of light-evoked action potentials could be controlled by varying either the amplitude or duration of illumination. Furthermore, the frequency of light-evoked action potentials could be precisely controlled up to 30 Hz. Photostimulation also could evoke synaptic transmission between neurons, and, by scanning with a small laser light spot, we were able to map the spatial distribution of synaptic circuits connecting neurons within living cerebral cortex. We conclude that ChR2 is a genetically based photostimulation technology that permits analysis of neural circuits with high spatial and temporal resolution in transgenic mammals.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0700384104
View details for Web of Science ID 000246461500073
View details for PubMedID 17483470
In vivo light-induced activation of neural circuitry in transgenic mice expressing channelrhodopsin-2
2007; 54 (2): 205-218
Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) is a light-gated, cation-selective ion channel isolated from the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Here, we report the generation of transgenic mice that express a ChR2-YFP fusion protein in the CNS for in vivo activation and mapping of neural circuits. Using focal illumination of the cerebral cortex and olfactory bulb, we demonstrate a highly reproducible, light-dependent activation of neurons and precise control of firing frequency in vivo. To test the feasibility of mapping neural circuits, we exploited the circuitry formed between the olfactory bulb and the piriform cortex in anesthetized mice. In the olfactory bulb, individual mitral cells fired action potentials in response to light, and their firing rate was not influenced by costimulated glomeruli. However, in piriform cortex, the activity of target neurons increased as larger areas of the bulb were illuminated to recruit additional glomeruli. These results support a model of olfactory processing that is dependent upon mitral cell convergence and integration onto cortical cells. More broadly, these findings demonstrate a system for precise manipulation of neural activity in the intact mammalian brain with light and illustrate the use of ChR2 mice in exploring functional connectivity of complex neural circuits in vivo.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.03.005
View details for Web of Science ID 000246190600007
View details for PubMedID 17442243
Multimodal fast optical interrogation of neural circuitry
2007; 446 (7136): 633-U4
Our understanding of the cellular implementation of systems-level neural processes like action, thought and emotion has been limited by the availability of tools to interrogate specific classes of neural cells within intact, living brain tissue. Here we identify and develop an archaeal light-driven chloride pump (NpHR) from Natronomonas pharaonis for temporally precise optical inhibition of neural activity. NpHR allows either knockout of single action potentials, or sustained blockade of spiking. NpHR is compatible with ChR2, the previous optical excitation technology we have described, in that the two opposing probes operate at similar light powers but with well-separated action spectra. NpHR, like ChR2, functions in mammals without exogenous cofactors, and the two probes can be integrated with calcium imaging in mammalian brain tissue for bidirectional optical modulation and readout of neural activity. Likewise, NpHR and ChR2 can be targeted together to Caenorhabditis elegans muscle and cholinergic motor neurons to control locomotion bidirectionally. NpHR and ChR2 form a complete system for multimodal, high-speed, genetically targeted, all-optical interrogation of living neural circuits.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature05744
View details for Web of Science ID 000245438300032
View details for PubMedID 17410168
- High-speed mapping of synaptic connectivity using photostimulation in Channelrhodopsin-2 transgenic mice. 2007
Next-generation optical technologies for illuminating genetically targeted brain circuits
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2006; 26 (41): 10380-10386
Emerging technologies from optics, genetics, and bioengineering are being combined for studies of intact neural circuits. The rapid progression of such interdisciplinary "optogenetic" approaches has expanded capabilities for optical imaging and genetic targeting of specific cell types. Here we explore key recent advances that unite optical and genetic approaches, focusing on promising techniques that either allow novel studies of neural dynamics and behavior or provide fresh perspectives on classic model systems.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3863-06.2006
View details for Web of Science ID 000241192800010
View details for PubMedID 17035522
Channelrhodopsin-2 and optical control of excitable cells
2006; 3 (10): 785-792
Electrically excitable cells are important in the normal functioning and in the pathophysiology of many biological processes. These cells are typically embedded in dense, heterogeneous tissues, rendering them difficult to target selectively with conventional electrical stimulation methods. The algal protein Channelrhodopsin-2 offers a new and promising solution by permitting minimally invasive, genetically targeted and temporally precise photostimulation. Here we explore technological issues relevant to the temporal precision, spatial targeting and physiological implementation of ChR2, in the context of other photostimulation approaches to optical control of excitable cells.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nmeth936
View details for Web of Science ID 000240942600011
View details for PubMedID 16990810
A role for circuit homeostasis in adult neurogenesis
TRENDS IN NEUROSCIENCES
2005; 28 (12): 653-660
Insertion of new neurons into adult neural circuits could either promote or impair circuit function, depending on whether homeostatic mechanisms are in place to regulate the resulting changes in neural activity. In the hippocampus (a mammalian forebrain structure important in aspects of memory and mood) several lines of behavioral evidence suggest important adaptive roles for adult-generated neurons, indicating that there could be mechanisms to control the potentially adverse increase in excitation associated with new cells. Here, we delineate behavioral and computational models for the role of circuit homeostasis in enabling neuron insertion to modulate hippocampal function adaptively, and we describe molecular and cellular mechanisms for implementing this circuit-level adaptive regulation of hippocampal activity.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.tins.2005.09.007
View details for Web of Science ID 000234151400004
View details for PubMedID 16271403
GABA excitation in the adult brain: A mechanism for excitation-neurogenesis coupling
2005; 47 (6): 775-777
The production of new neurons in the adult hippocampus is exquisitely regulated, and alterations in this process may underlie both normal and pathological hippocampal function. In this issue of Neuron, Tozuka et al. describe electrophysiological recordings that target proliferating progenitor cells in adult mouse hippocampal slices. They report that GABAergic synaptic inputs directly depolarize the proliferating progenitors, thereby activating molecular players that favor neuronal differentiation and providing a mechanism for direct excitation-neurogenesis coupling in vivo.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2005.08.029
View details for Web of Science ID 000232085000003
View details for PubMedID 16157270
Millisecond-timescale, genetically targeted optical control of neural activity
2005; 8 (9): 1263-1268
Temporally precise, noninvasive control of activity in well-defined neuronal populations is a long-sought goal of systems neuroscience. We adapted for this purpose the naturally occurring algal protein Channelrhodopsin-2, a rapidly gated light-sensitive cation channel, by using lentiviral gene delivery in combination with high-speed optical switching to photostimulate mammalian neurons. We demonstrate reliable, millisecond-timescale control of neuronal spiking, as well as control of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission. This technology allows the use of light to alter neural processing at the level of single spikes and synaptic events, yielding a widely applicable tool for neuroscientists and biomedical engineers.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nn1525
View details for Web of Science ID 000231483800028
View details for PubMedID 16116447
Excitation-neurogenesis coupling in adult neural stem/progenitor cells
2004; 42 (4): 535-552
A wide variety of in vivo manipulations influence neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus. It is not known, however, if adult neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs) can intrinsically sense excitatory neural activity and thereby implement a direct coupling between excitation and neurogenesis. Moreover, the theoretical significance of activity-dependent neurogenesis in hippocampal-type memory processing networks has not been explored. Here we demonstrate that excitatory stimuli act directly on adult hippocampal NPCs to favor neuron production. The excitation is sensed via Ca(v)1.2/1.3 (L-type) Ca(2+) channels and NMDA receptors on the proliferating precursors. Excitation through this pathway acts to inhibit expression of the glial fate genes Hes1 and Id2 and increase expression of NeuroD, a positive regulator of neuronal differentiation. These activity-sensing properties of the adult NPCs, when applied as an "excitation-neurogenesis coupling rule" within a Hebbian neural network, predict significant advantages for both the temporary storage and the clearance of memories.
View details for Web of Science ID 000221708300006
View details for PubMedID 15157417
Signaling from synapse to nucleus: the logic behind the mechanisms
CURRENT OPINION IN NEUROBIOLOGY
2003; 13 (3): 354-365
Signaling from synapse to nucleus is vital for activity-dependent control of neuronal gene expression and represents a sophisticated form of neural computation. The nature of specific signal initiators, nuclear translocators and effectors has become increasingly clear, and supports the idea that the nucleus is able to make sense of a surprising amount of fast synaptic information through intricate biochemical mechanisms. Information transfer to the nucleus can be conveyed by physical translocation of messengers at various stages within the multiple signal transduction cascades that are set in motion by a Ca(2+) rise near the surface membrane. The key role of synapse-to-nucleus signaling in circadian rhythms, long-term memory, and neuronal survival sheds light on the logical underpinning of these signaling mechanisms.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S0959-4388(03)00076-X
View details for Web of Science ID 000184245400014
View details for PubMedID 12850221
Dynamic multiphosphorylation passwords for activity-dependent gene expression
2002; 34 (2): 179-182
Synapse-to-nucleus signaling leading to CREB-mediated transcription is important for neuronal plasticity. Nuclear CREB phosphorylation at Ser133 allows convergence of multiple kinase pathways driven by neuronal activity and links them to transcriptional activation. But, can various pathways share a common effector mechanism (phosphorylating Ser133) while generating distinct patterns of gene expression? We review three Neuron articles that highlight novel ways Ca(2+) signals can trigger multiple phosphorylation events working in combination to control CREB and its interaction with coactivator molecules.
View details for Web of Science ID 000174976200004
View details for PubMedID 11970860
Calmodulin priming: Nuclear translocation of a calmodulin complex and the memory of prior neuronal activity
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2001; 98 (26): 15342-15347
The neuronal nucleus plays a vital role in information processing, but whether it supports computational functions such as paired-pulse facilitation, comparable to synapses, is unclear. Ca(2+)-dependent movement of calmodulin (CaM) to the nucleus is highly responsive to Ca(2+) entry through L-type channels and promotes activation of the transcription factor CREB (cAMP-responsive element binding protein) through phosphorylation by CaM-sensitive kinases. We characterized key features of this CaM translocation and its possible role in facilitation of nuclear signaling. Nuclear CaM was elevated within 15 s of stimulus onset, preceding the first signs of CREB phosphorylation in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Depolarization-induced elevation of nuclear CaM also was observed in cerebellar granule cells, neocortical neurons, and dentate gyrus granule cells. Nuclear translocation of CaM was not blocked by disruption of actin filaments or microtubules, or by emptying endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) stores with thapsigargin. Translocation of fluorescently tagged CaM was prevented by fusing it with the Ca(2+)/CaM binding peptide M13, suggesting that nuclear CaM accumulation depends on association with endogenous Ca(2+)/CaM binding proteins. To determine whether increased nuclear [CaM] might influence subsequent nuclear signal processing, we compared responses to two consecutive depolarizing stimuli. After a weak "priming" stimulus that caused CaM translocation, CREB phosphorylation caused by a subsequent stimulus was significantly faster, more sensitive to Ca(2+) elevation, and less specifically dependent on Ca(2+) influx through L-type channels. CaM translocation not only supports rapid signaling to the nucleus, but also could provide a "memory" for facilitatory effects of repeated neural activity, seen in altered phosphorylated CREB dynamics and Ca(2+) channel dependence.
View details for Web of Science ID 000172848800107
View details for PubMedID 11742070
Activity-dependent CREB phosphorylation: Convergence of a fast, sensitive calmodulin kinase pathway and a slow, less sensitive mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2001; 98 (5): 2808-2813
The cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB), a key regulator of gene expression, is activated by phosphorylation on Ser-133. Several different protein kinases possess the capability of driving this phosphorylation, making it a point of potential convergence for multiple intracellular signaling cascades. Previous work in neurons has indicated that physiologic synaptic stimulation recruits a fast calmodulin kinase IV (CaMKIV)-dependent pathway that dominates early signaling to CREB. Here we show in hippocampal neurons that the fast, CaMK-dependent pathway can be followed by a slower pathway that depends on Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), along with CaMK. This pathway was blocked by dominant-negative Ras and was specifically recruited by depolarizations that produced strong intracellular Ca(2+) transients. When both pathways were recruited, phosphorylated CREB (pCREB) formation was overwhelmingly dominated by the CaMK pathway between 0 and 10 min, and by the MAPK pathway at 60 min, whereas the two pathways acted in concert at 30 min. The Ca(2+) signals that produced only rapid CaMK signaling to pCREB or both rapid CaMK and slow MAPK signaling deviated significantly for only approximately 1 min, yet their differential impact on pCREB extended over a much longer period, between 20 and 60 min and beyond, which is of likely significance for gene expression. The CaMK-dependent MAPK pathway may inform the nucleus about stimulus amplitude. In contrast, the CaMKIV pathway may be well suited to conveying information on the precise timing of localized synaptic stimuli, befitting its greater speed and sensitivity, whereas the previously described calcineurin pathway may carry information about stimulus duration.
View details for Web of Science ID 000167258900126
View details for PubMedID 11226322
Spaced stimuli stabilize MAPK pathway activation and its effects on dendritic morphology
2001; 4 (2): 151-158
Memory storage in mammalian neurons probably depends on both biochemical events and morphological alterations in dendrites. Here we report an activity-dependent stabilization of the MAP kinase (MAPK) pathway, prominent in hippocampal dendrites. The longevity of the signal in these dendrites was increased to hours when multiple spaced stimuli were used. Likewise, spaced stimuli and MAPK activation were critical for protrusion of new dendritic filopodia that also remained stable for hours. Our experiments define a new role for stimulus-specific responses of MAPK signaling in activity-dependent neuronal plasticity. The local biochemical signaling in dendrites complements MAPK signaling in gene expression. Together, these processes may support long-lasting behavioral changes.
View details for Web of Science ID 000167178100013
View details for PubMedID 11175875
Critical dependence of cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation on L-type calcium channels supports a selective response to EPSPs in preference to action potentials
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2000; 20 (1): 266-273
Activity-dependent gene expression in neurons shows a remarkable ability to differentiate between different types of stimulation: orthodromic inputs that engage synaptic transmission are much more effective than antidromic stimuli that do not. We have studied the basis of such selectivity in cultured hippocampal neurons in which nuclear cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation is induced by synaptic activity but not by action potential (AP) stimulation in the absence of EPSPs, although spikes by themselves generate large elevations in intracellular Ca(2+). Previous work has shown that Ca(2+) entry through L-type Ca(2+) channels plays a dominant role in triggering calmodulin mobilization and activation of calmodulin-dependent kinases that phosphorylate CREB, raising the possibility that L-type channels contribute to the selective response to EPSPs rather than APs. Accordingly, we performed voltage-clamp experiments to compare the currents carried by L-type channels during depolarizing waveforms that approximated APs or dendritic EPSPs. The integrated current generated by L-type channels was significantly less after mock APs than with EPSP-like depolarizations. The difference was traced to two distinct factors. Compared with other channels, L-type channels activated at relatively negative potentials, favoring their opening with EPSP stimulation; they also exhibited relatively slow activation kinetics, weighing against their contribution during an AP. The relative ineffectiveness of APs as a stimulus for CREB phosphorylation could be overcome by exposure to the agonist Bay K8644, which potentiated the AP-induced influx through L-type channels by approximately 10-fold. Under normal conditions, the unique biophysical properties of L-type channels allow them to act as a kinetic filter to support spike-EPSP discrimination.
View details for Web of Science ID 000084581800035
View details for PubMedID 10627604
Activity-dependent regulation of communication from synapse to nucleus
CHALLENGES FOR NEUROSCIENCE IN THE 21ST CENTURY
View details for Web of Science ID 000085856300006
L-type calcium channels and GSK-3 regulate the activity of NF-ATc4 in hippocampal neurons
1999; 401 (6754): 703-708
The molecular basis of learning and memory has been the object of several recent advances, which have focused attention on calcium-regulated pathways controlling transcription. One of the molecules implicated by pharmacological, biochemical and genetic approaches is the calcium/calmodulin-regulated phosphatase, calcineurin. In lymphocytes, calcineurin responds to specific calcium signals and regulates expression of several immediate early genes by controlling the nuclear import of the NF-ATc family of transcription factors. Here we show that NF-ATc4/NF-AT3 in hippocampal neurons can rapidly translocate from cytoplasm to nucleus and activate NF-AT-dependent transcription in response to electrical activity or potassium depolarization. The calcineurin-mediated translocation is critically dependent on calcium entry through L-type voltage-gated calcium channels. GSK-3 can phosphorylate NF-ATc4, promoting its export from the nucleus and antagonizing NF-ATc4-dependent transcription. Furthermore, we show that induction of the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor type 1 is controlled by the calcium/calcineurin/NF-ATc pathway. This provides a new perspective on the function of calcineurin in the central nervous system and indicates that NF-AT-mediated gene expression may be involved in the induction of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory formation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000083207400058
View details for PubMedID 10537109
Calmodulin supports both inactivation and facilitation of L-type calcium channels
1999; 399 (6732): 159-162
L-type Ca2+ channels support Ca2+ entry into cells, which triggers cardiac contraction, controls hormone secretion from endocrine cells and initiates transcriptional events that support learning and memory. These channels are examples of molecular signal-transduction units that regulate themselves through their own activity. Among the many types of voltage-gated Ca2+ channel, L-type Ca2+ channels particularly display inactivation and facilitation, both of which are closely linked to the earlier entry of Ca2+ ions. Both forms of autoregulation have a significant impact on the amount of Ca2+ that enters the cell during repetitive activity, with major consequences downstream. Despite extensive biophysical analysis, the molecular basis of autoregulation remains unclear, although a putative Ca2+-binding EF-hand motif and a nearby consensus calmodulin-binding isoleucine-glutamine ('IQ') motif in the carboxy terminus of the alpha1C channel subunit have been implicated. Here we show that calmodulin is a critical Ca2+ sensor for both inactivation and facilitation, and that the nature of the modulatory effect depends on residues within the IQ motif important for calmodulin binding. Replacement of the native isoleucine by alanine removed Ca2+-dependent inactivation and unmasked a strong facilitation; conversion of the same residue to glutamate eliminated both forms of autoregulation. These results indicate that the same calmodulin molecule may act as a Ca2+ sensor for both positive and negative modulation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000080335700052
View details for PubMedID 10335846
Translocation of calmodulin to the nucleus supports CREB phosphorylation in hippocampal neurons
1998; 392 (6672): 198-202
Activation of the transcription factor CREB is thought to be important in the formation of long-term memory in several animal species. The phosphorylation of a serine residue at position 133 of CREB is critical for activation of CREB. This phosphorylation is rapid when driven by brief synaptic activity in hippocampal neurons. It is initiated by a highly local, rise in calcium ion concentrations near the cell membrane, but culminates in the activation of a specific calmodulin-dependent kinase known as CaMK IV, which is constitutively present in the neuronal nucleus. It is unclear how the signal is conveyed from the synapse to the nucleus. We show here that brief bursts of activity cause a swift (approximately 1 min) translocation of calmodulin from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, and that this translocation is important for the rapid phosphorylation of CREB. Certain Ca2+ entry systems (L-type Ca2+ channels and NMDA receptors) are able to cause mobilization of calmodulin, whereas others (N- and P/Q-type Ca2+ channels) are not. This translocation of calmodulin provides a form of cellular communication that combines the specificity of local Ca2+ signalling with the ability to produce action at a distance.
View details for Web of Science ID 000072462700067
View details for PubMedID 9515967
Ca2+-dependent regulation in neuronal gene expression
CURRENT OPINION IN NEUROBIOLOGY
1997; 7 (3): 419-429
Ca2+ is an important signal-transduction molecule that plays a role in many intracellular signaling pathways. Recent advances have indicated that in neurons, Ca2+-controlled signaling mechanisms cooperate in order to discriminate amongst incoming cellular inputs. Ca2+-dependent transcriptional events can thereby be made selectively responsive to bursts of synaptic activity of specific intensity or duration.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XW34800018
View details for PubMedID 9232807
CREB phosphorylation and dephosphorylation: A Ca2(+)- and stimulus duration-dependent switch for hippocampal gene expression
1996; 87 (7): 1203-1214
While changes in gene expression are critical for many brain functions, including long-term memory, little is known about the cellular processes that mediate stimulus-transcription coupling at central synapses. In studying the signaling pathways by which synaptic inputs control the phosphorylation state of cyclic AMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB) and determine expression of CRE-regulated genes, we found two important Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM)-regulated mechanisms in hippocampal neurons: a CaM kinase cascade involving nuclear CaMKIV and a calcineurin-dependent regulation of nuclear protein phosphatase 1 activity. Prolongation of the synaptic input on the time scale of minutes, in part by an activity-induced inactivation of calcineurin, greatly extends the period over which phospho-CREB levels are elevated, thus affecting induction of downstream genes.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996WA54100009
View details for PubMedID 8980227
Signaling from synapse to nucleus: Postsynaptic CREB phosphorylation during multiple forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity
1996; 16 (1): 89-101
Phosphorylation of the transcription factor CREB is thought to be important in processes underlying long-term memory. It is unclear whether CREB phosphorylation can carry information about the sign of changes in synaptic strength, whether CREB pathways are equally activated in neurons receiving or providing synaptic input, or how synapse-to-nucleus communication is mediated. We found that Ca(2+)-dependent nuclear CREB phosphorylation was rapidly evoked by synaptic stimuli including, but not limited to, those that induced potentiation and depression of synaptic strength. In striking contrast, high frequency action potential firing alone failed to trigger CREB phosphorylation. Activation of a submembranous Ca2+ sensor, just beneath sites of Ca2+ entry, appears critical for triggering nuclear CREB phosphorylation via calmodulin and a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996TT30700012
View details for PubMedID 8562094
- Synaptic plasticity: A molecular mechanism for metaplasticity CURRENT BIOLOGY 1995; 5 (12): 1334-1338
IDENTIFICATION OF A POINT MUTATION IN THE TOPOISOMERASE-II GENE FROM A HUMAN LEUKEMIA-CELL LINE CONTAINING AN AMSACRINE-RESISTANT FORM OF TOPOISOMERASE-II
1991; 51 (17): 4729-4731
HL-60/AMSA is a human leukemia cell line that is 50- to 100-fold more resistant to the cytotoxic actions of the topoisomerase II-reactive intercalator amsacrine than is its drug-sensitive HL-60 parent line. Previously, we have shown that the topoisomerase II from HL-60/AMSA is also resistant to inhibition by amsacrine and other intercalating agents. We therefore sought the molecular basis for the resistance of the topoisomerase II of HL-60/AMSA and, by inference, of the HL-60/AMSA line itself. We report the cloning and sequencing of the topoisomerase II genes from both the sensitive and resistant leukemia cell lines using polymerase chain reaction technology. We have identified a single base change associated with the drug-resistant form of topoisomerase II. This mutation is present in both cloned HL-60/AMSA complementary DNA and extracted HL-60/AMSA genomic DNA. A rapid assay for this mutation in clinical samples has been developed and applied to the DNA of cells from both normal volunteers and leukemia patients. Thus far, the HL-60/AMSA genotype has not been identified in the cells from any individual, suggesting that this genotype is indeed a mutation and not an allelic form of topoisomerase II. The novel assay developed will allow a rapid search for the prevalence of this mutation in clinical samples from patients with leukemia who have relapsed following intercalator therapy.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991GC74300039
View details for PubMedID 1651812
CROSS-RESISTANCE OF AN AMSACRINE-RESISTANT HUMAN LEUKEMIA LINE TO TOPOISOMERASE-II REACTIVE DNA INTERCALATING AGENTS - EVIDENCE FOR 2 TOPOISOMERASE-II DIRECTED DRUG ACTIONS
1991; 30 (16): 4048-4055
HL-60/AMSA is a human leukemia cell line that is 50-100-fold more resistant than its drug-sensitive HL-60 parent line to the cytotoxic actions of the DNA intercalator amsacrine (m-AMSA). HL-60/AMSA topoisomerase II is also resistant to the inhibitory actions of m-AMSA. HL-60/AMSA cells and topoisomerase II are cross-resistant to anthracycline and ellipticine intercalators but relatively sensitive to the nonintercalating topoisomerase II reactive epipodophyllotoxin etoposide. We now demonstrate that HL-60/AMSA and its topoisomerase II are cross-resistant to the DNA intercalators mitoxantrone and amonafide, thus strongly indicating that HL-60/AMSA and its topoisomerase II are resistant to topoisomerase II reactive intercalators but not to nonintercalators. At high concentrations, mitoxantrone and amonafide were also found to inhibit their own, m-AMSA's, and etoposide's abilities to stabilize topoisomerase II-DNA complexes. This appears to be due to the ability of these concentrations of mitoxantrone and amonafide to inhibit topoisomerase II mediated DNA strand passage at a point in the topoisomerization cycle prior to the acquisition of the enzyme-DNA configuration that yields DNA cleavage and topoisomerase II-DNA cross-links. In addition, amonafide can inhibit the cytotoxic actions of m-AMSA and etoposide. Taken together, these results suggest that the cytotoxicity of m-AMSA and etoposide is initiated primarily by the stabilization of the topoisomerase II-DNA complex. Other topoisomerase II reactive drugs may inhibit the enzyme at other steps in the topoisomerization cycle, particularly at elevated concentrations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
View details for Web of Science ID A1991FH87600032
A RESTRICTION-FRAGMENT-LENGTH-POLYMORPHISM FOR HUMAN TOPOISOMERASE .2. POSSIBLE RELATIONSHIP TO DRUG-RESISTANCE
1990; 2 (11): 357-361
In previous studies we used Southern blotting to examine the topoisomerase II locus (on chromosome 17) in human leukemia cell lines and noted a difference in the XmnI restriction endonuclease digestion pattern between an m-AMSA-resistant line and its m-AMSA-sensitive parent line (Zwelling, L. A.; Hinds, M,; Chan, D.; Mayes, J.; Sie, K. L.; Parker, E.; Silberman, L.; Radcliffe, A.; Beran, M.; Blick, M. Characterization of an amsacrine-resistant line of human leukemia cells. Evidence for a drug-resistant form of topoisomerase II. Journal of Biological Chemistry 264:16411-16420; 1989). We now demonstrate that the variable XmnI digestion pattern represents a normal restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) which is observed in subjects without malignant disease and exhibits an autosomal pattern of inheritance. These data suggest that the previously described deviation in the genomic structure of topoisomerase II in the m-AMSA-resistant cell line did not reflect a new mutation, but rather a reduction to homozygosity at the topoisomerase II locus. This reduction to homozygosity is not due to chromosomal loss, as chromosome 17-specific gene probes clearly identify two chromosome 17's in the sensitive line and four in the resistant line, using chromosome painting with a chromosome 17-specific library. Some other genetic change must be the cause of the resistance of HL-60/AMSA and its topoisomerase II to the inhibiting actions of m-AMSA.
View details for Web of Science ID A1990EJ28800001
View details for PubMedID 1978687