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Monosynaptic retrograde tracing of neurons expressing the G-protein coupled receptor Gpr151 in the mouse brain.

GPR151 is a G-protein coupled receptor for which the endogenous ligand remains unknown. In the nervous system of vertebrates, its expression is enriched in specific diencephalic structures, where the highest levels are observed in the habenular area. The habenula has been implicated in a range of different functions including behavioral flexibility, decision making, inhibitory control, and pain processing, which makes it a promising target for treating psychiatric and neurological disease. This study aimed to further characterize neurons expressing the Gpr151 gene, by tracing the afferent connectivity of this diencephalic cell population. Using pseudotyped rabies virus in a transgenic Gpr151-Cre mouse line, monosynaptic afferents of habenular and thalamic Gpr151-expressing neuronal populations could be visualized. The habenular and thalamic Gpr151 systems displayed both shared and distinct connectivity patterns. The habenular neurons primarily received input from basal forebrain structures, the bed nucleus of stria terminalis, the lateral preoptic area, the entopeduncular nucleus, and the lateral hypothalamic area. The Gpr151-expressing neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus was primarily contacted by medial hypothalamic areas as well as the zona incerta and projected to specific forebrain areas such as the prelimbic cortex and the accumbens nucleus. Gpr151 mRNA was also detected at low levels in the lateral posterior thalamic nucleus which received input from areas associated with visual processing, including the superior colliculus, zona incerta, and the visual and retrosplenial cortices. Knowledge about the connectivity of Gpr151-expressing neurons will facilitate the interpretation of future functional studies of this receptor.

Pubmed ID: 28657115 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Afferent Pathways | Animals | Brain | Efferent Pathways | Immunohistochemistry | Mice, Inbred C57BL | Mice, Transgenic | Neuroanatomical Tract-Tracing Techniques | Neurons | RNA, Messenger | Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled

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