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Transsynaptic Mapping of Second-Order Taste Neurons in Flies by trans-Tango.

Neuron | Nov 15, 2017

Mapping neural circuits across defined synapses is essential for understanding brain function. Here we describe trans-Tango, a technique for anterograde transsynaptic circuit tracing and manipulation. At the core of trans-Tango is a synthetic signaling pathway that is introduced into all neurons in the animal. This pathway converts receptor activation at the cell surface into reporter expression through site-specific proteolysis. Specific labeling is achieved by presenting a tethered ligand at the synapses of genetically defined neurons, thereby activating the pathway in their postsynaptic partners and providing genetic access to these neurons. We first validated trans-Tango in the Drosophila olfactory system and then implemented it in the gustatory system, where projections beyond the first-order receptor neurons are not fully characterized. We identified putative second-order neurons within the sweet circuit that include projection neurons targeting known neuromodulation centers in the brain. These experiments establish trans-Tango as a flexible platform for transsynaptic circuit analysis.

Pubmed ID: 29107518 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Animals, Genetically Modified | Drosophila | Neural Pathways | Neuroanatomical Tract-Tracing Techniques | Neurons | Olfactory Pathways | Taste Perception

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Associated grants

  • Agency: NIDCD NIH HHS, Id: R01 DC013561
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: R01 MH086920
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: R01 MH105368
  • Agency: NIDCD NIH HHS, Id: R21 DC014333

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