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VECTASHIELD Mounting Medium antibody


Prostaglandin signaling governs spike timing-dependent plasticity at sensory synapses onto mouse spinal projection neurons.

  • Li J
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Jun 22

Literature context: Laboratories, catalog #H-1000, RRID:AB_2336789).


Highly correlated presynaptic and postsynaptic activity evokes spike timing-dependent long-term potentiation (t-LTP) at primary afferent synapses onto spinal projection neurons. While prior evidence indicates that t-LTP depends upon an elevation in intracellular Ca2+ within projection neurons, the downstream signaling pathways that trigger the observed increase in glutamate release from sensory neurons remain poorly understood. Using in vitro patch clamp recordings from female mouse lamina I spino-parabrachial (PB) neurons, the present study demonstrates a critical role for prostaglandin synthesis in the generation of t-LTP. Bath application of the selective phospholipase A2 (PLA2) inhibitor AACOCF3 or the Cox-2 inhibitor nimesulide prevented t-LTP at sensory synapses onto spino-PB neurons. Similar results were observed following the block of the EP2 subtype of PGE2 receptor with PF 04418948. Meanwhile, perfusion with PGE2 or the EP2 agonist butaprost potentiated the amplitude of monosynaptic primary afferent-evoked EPSCs while decreasing the paired-pulse ratio, suggesting a presynaptic site of action. Cox-2 was constitutively expressed in both spinal microglia and lamina I projection neurons within the superficial dorsal horn (SDH). Suppression of microglial activation with minocycline had no effect on the production of t-LTP, suggesting the possibility that prostaglandins produced within projection neurons could contribute to an enhanced probability of glutamate release at primary afferent synapses. Collectively, the results suggest that the amplification of ascending nociceptive transmission by the spinal SDH network is governed by PLA2-Cox-2-PGE2 signaling.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTLong-term potentiation (LTP) of primary afferent synapses contributes to the sensitization of spinal nociceptive circuits and has been linked to greater pain sensation in humans. Prior work has implicated elevated glutamate release in the generation of spike timing-dependent LTP (t-LTP) at sensory synapses onto ascending spinal projection neurons, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here we provide evidence that the activation of EP2 prostaglandin receptors by PGE2, occurring downstream of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox-2) activation, mediates t-LTP at these synapses via changes in presynaptic function. This suggests that prostaglandins can increase the flow of nociceptive information from the spinal cord to the brain independently of their known ability to suppress synaptic inhibition within the dorsal horn.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - AG020686(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS080889(United States)

Drosophila TNF Modulates Tissue Tension in the Embryo to Facilitate Macrophage Invasive Migration.

  • Ratheesh A
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 May 7

Literature context: ector Laboratories Cat# H-1000, RRID:AB_2336789 Halocarbon Oil 27 Sigma-Aldrich


Migrating cells penetrate tissue barriers during development, inflammatory responses, and tumor metastasis. We study if migration in vivo in such three-dimensionally confined environments requires changes in the mechanical properties of the surrounding cells using embryonic Drosophila melanogaster hemocytes, also called macrophages, as a model. We find that macrophage invasion into the germband through transient separation of the apposing ectoderm and mesoderm requires cell deformations and reductions in apical tension in the ectoderm. Interestingly, the genetic pathway governing these mechanical shifts acts downstream of the only known tumor necrosis factor superfamily member in Drosophila, Eiger, and its receptor, Grindelwald. Eiger-Grindelwald signaling reduces levels of active Myosin in the germband ectodermal cortex through the localization of a Crumbs complex component, Patj (Pals-1-associated tight junction protein). We therefore elucidate a distinct molecular pathway that controls tissue tension and demonstrate the importance of such regulation for invasive migration in vivo.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P50 CA130805(United States)

RNP-Granule Assembly via Ataxin-2 Disordered Domains Is Required for Long-Term Memory and Neurodegeneration.

  • Bakthavachalu B
  • Neuron
  • 2018 May 16

Literature context: ting Medium Vector Laboratories RRID:AB_2336789 SNAP-Surface 549 New England Bi


Human Ataxin-2 is implicated in the cause and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and type 2 spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA-2). In Drosophila, a conserved atx2 gene is essential for animal survival as well as for normal RNP-granule assembly, translational control, and long-term habituation. Like its human homolog, Drosophila Ataxin-2 (Atx2) contains polyQ repeats and additional intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). We demonstrate that Atx2 IDRs, which are capable of mediating liquid-liquid phase transitions in vitro, are essential for efficient formation of neuronal mRNP assemblies in vivo. Remarkably, ΔIDR mutants that lack neuronal RNP granules show normal animal development, survival, and fertility. However, they show defects in long-term memory formation/consolidation as well as in C9ORF72 dipeptide repeat or FUS-induced neurodegeneration. Together, our findings demonstrate (1) that higher-order mRNP assemblies contribute to long-term neuronal plasticity and memory, and (2) that a targeted reduction in RNP-granule formation efficiency can alleviate specific forms of neurodegeneration.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - 5K12 CA 076931(United States)

Dbx1 Pre-Bötzinger Complex Interneurons Comprise the Core Inspiratory Oscillator for Breathing in Unanesthetized Adult Mice.

  • Vann NC
  • eNeuro
  • 2018 May 31

Literature context: over-slipped using Vectashield (RRID:AB_2336789). Tissue sections were visualiz


The brainstem pre-Bötzinger complex (preBötC) generates inspiratory breathing rhythms, but which neurons comprise its rhythmogenic core? Dbx1-derived neurons may play the preeminent role in rhythm generation, an idea well founded at perinatal stages of development but incompletely evaluated in adulthood. We expressed archaerhodopsin or channelrhodopsin in Dbx1 preBötC neurons in intact adult mice to interrogate their function. Prolonged photoinhibition slowed down or stopped breathing, whereas prolonged photostimulation sped up breathing. Brief inspiratory-phase photoinhibition evoked the next breath earlier than expected, whereas brief expiratory-phase photoinhibition delayed the subsequent breath. Conversely, brief inspiratory-phase photostimulation increased inspiratory duration and delayed the subsequent breath, whereas brief expiratory-phase photostimulation evoked the next breath earlier than expected. Because they govern the frequency and precise timing of breaths in awake adult mice with sensorimotor feedback intact, Dbx1 preBötC neurons constitute an essential core component of the inspiratory oscillator, knowledge directly relevant to human health and physiology.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - ZIA ES102025-06(United States)

Activation of the Notch Signaling Pathway In Vivo Elicits Changes in CSL Nuclear Dynamics.

  • Gomez-Lamarca MJ
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 Mar 12

Literature context: RRID:AB_2336789 cOmpleteâ„¢ Protease Inhibitor Co


A key feature of Notch signaling is that it directs immediate changes in transcription via the DNA-binding factor CSL, switching it from repression to activation. How Notch generates both a sensitive and accurate response-in the absence of any amplification step-remains to be elucidated. To address this question, we developed real-time analysis of CSL dynamics including single-molecule tracking in vivo. In Notch-OFF nuclei, a small proportion of CSL molecules transiently binds DNA, while in Notch-ON conditions CSL recruitment increases dramatically at target loci, where complexes have longer dwell times conferred by the Notch co-activator Mastermind. Surprisingly, recruitment of CSL-related corepressors also increases in Notch-ON conditions, revealing that Notch induces cooperative or "assisted" loading by promoting local increase in chromatin accessibility. Thus, in vivo Notch activity triggers changes in CSL dwell times and chromatin accessibility, which we propose confer sensitivity to small input changes and facilitate timely shut-down.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - CA084179(United Kingdom)
  • Wellcome Trust - R01 CA178974()

Brain Diffusivity and Structural Changes in the R6/2 Mouse Model of Huntington Disease.

  • Vorisek I
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2018 Mar 12

Literature context: # H-1000, RRID:AB_2336789). The tiss


Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance (DW-MR) is an important diagnostic tool in Huntington disease (HD), a fatal hereditary neurodegenerative disorder. To clarify the nature of diffusivity changes in HD, we compared the apparent diffusion coefficient of water (ADCW ) acquired by DW-MR with extracellular space volume fraction α and tortuosity λ, measured by the iontophoretic method in the R6/2 mouse model of HD and in wild-type controls (WT). In anisotropic globus pallidus (GP), diffusion measurements were performed in the mediolateral (x), rostrocaudal (y), and ventrodorsal (z) axes. In HD animals, we detected an increase in ADCW in all axes and larger α than in WT mice. No significant difference between WT and HD mice was found in the values of tortuosity (λx , λy , λz ). Despite structural changes in GP, diffusion anisotropy was unaffected in HD mice. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed in HD mice weaker expression of extracellular matrix and a decrease in neuron numbers compared with WT mice. Glial fibrillary acidic protein staining detected astrogliosis-like changes in the morphology of astrocytic processes in HD GP. In the somatosensory cortex, no significant differences in the studied parameters were found. We conclude that in the R6/2 model of HD, a decrease in the number of neurons in the GP results in increased ADCW and α values. Values of λ were not significantly changed as the increase of diffusion obstacles formed by reactive astrocytes was compensated for by the extracellular matrix reduction. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM076507(United States)

Basal Mitophagy Occurs Independently of PINK1 in Mouse Tissues of High Metabolic Demand.

  • McWilliams TG
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2018 Feb 6

Literature context: ctor Laboratories Cat#: H-1000; RRID:AB_2336789 Recombinant TUBE Protein: His-H


Dysregulated mitophagy has been linked to Parkinson's disease (PD) due to the role of PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) in mediating depolarization-induced mitophagy in vitro. Elegant mouse reporters have revealed the pervasive nature of basal mitophagy in vivo, yet the role of PINK1 and tissue metabolic context remains unknown. Using mito-QC, we investigated the contribution of PINK1 to mitophagy in metabolically active tissues. We observed a high degree of mitophagy in neural cells, including PD-relevant mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons and microglia. In all tissues apart from pancreatic islets, loss of Pink1 did not influence basal mitophagy, despite disrupting depolarization-induced Parkin activation. Our findings provide the first in vivo evidence that PINK1 is detectable at basal levels and that basal mammalian mitophagy occurs independently of PINK1. This suggests multiple, yet-to-be-discovered pathways orchestrating mammalian mitochondrial integrity in a context-dependent fashion, and this has profound implications for our molecular understanding of vertebrate mitophagy.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL074894(United States)

Gap Junctions Interconnect Different Subtypes of Parvalbumin-Positive Interneurons in Barrels and Septa with Connectivity Unique to Each Subtype.

  • Shigematsu N
  • Cereb. Cortex
  • 2018 Feb 27

Literature context: urlingame, CA, USA; Cat# H-1000 RRID:AB_2336789), and examined using a confocal


Parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons form dendritic gap junctions with one another, but the connectivity among gap junction-coupled dendrites remains uninvestigated in most neocortical areas. We visualized gap junctions in layer 4 of the mouse barrel cortex and examined their structural details. PV neurons were divided into 4 types based on the location of soma and dendrites within or outside barrels. Type 1 neurons that had soma and all dendrites inside a barrel, considered most specific to single vibrissa-derived signals, unexpectedly formed gap junctions only with other types but never with each other. Type 2 neurons inside a barrel elongated dendrites outward, forming gap junctions within a column that contained the home barrel. Type 3 neurons located outside barrels established connections with all types including Type 4 neurons that were confined inside the inter-barrel septa. The majority (33/38, 86.8%) of dendritic gap junctions were within 75 μm from at least 1 of 2 paired somata. All types received vesicular glutamate transporter 2-positive axon terminals preferentially on somata and proximal dendrites, indicating the involvement of all types in thalamocortical feedforward regulation in which proximal gap junctions may also participate. These structural organizations provide a new morphological basis for regulatory mechanisms in barrel cortex.

Funding information:
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - DE14197(United States)

A Subpopulation of Striatal Neurons Mediates Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia.

  • Girasole AE
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Feb 21

Literature context: ector Laboratories Cat# H-1000, RRID:AB_2336789 VECTASTAIN Elite ABC-Peroxidase


Parkinson's disease is characterized by the progressive loss of midbrain dopamine neurons. Dopamine replacement therapy with levodopa alleviates parkinsonian motor symptoms but is complicated by the development of involuntary movements, termed levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID). Aberrant activity in the striatum has been hypothesized to cause LID. Here, to establish a direct link between striatal activity and dyskinesia, we combine optogenetics and a method to manipulate dyskinesia-associated neurons, targeted recombination in active populations (TRAP). We find that TRAPed cells are a stable subset of sensorimotor striatal neurons, predominantly from the direct pathway, and that reactivation of TRAPed striatal neurons causes dyskinesia in the absence of levodopa. Inhibition of TRAPed cells, but not a nonspecific subset of direct pathway neurons, ameliorates LID. These results establish that a distinct subset of striatal neurons is causally involved in LID and indicate that successful therapeutic strategies for treating LID may require targeting functionally selective neuronal subtypes.

Neuronal PTEN deletion in adult cortical neurons triggers progressive growth of cell bodies, dendrites, and axons.

  • Gallent EA
  • Exp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Jan 18

Literature context: th Vectashield mounting medium (RRID:AB_2336789).


Deletion of the phosphatase and tensin (PTEN) gene in neonatal mice leads to enlargement of the cell bodies of cortical motoneurons (CMNs) in adulthood (Gutilla et al., 2016). Here, we assessed whether PTEN deletion in adult mice would trigger growth of mature neurons. PTEN was deleted by injecting AAV-Cre into the sensorimotor cortex of adult transgenic mice with a lox-P flanked exon 5 of the PTEN gene and Cre-dependent reporter gene tdTomato. PTEN-deleted CMN's identified by tdT expression and retrograde labeling with fluorogold (FG) were significantly enlarged four months following PTEN deletion, and continued to increase in size through the latest time intervals examined (12-15 months post-deletion). Sholl analyses of tdT-positive pyramidal neurons revealed increases in dendritic branches at 6 months following adult PTEN deletion, and greater increases at 12 months. 12 months after adult PTEN deletion, axons in the medullary pyramids were significantly larger and G-ratios were higher. Mice with PTEN deletion exhibited no overt neurological symptoms and no seizures. Assessment of motor function on the rotarod and cylinder test revealed slight impairment of coordination with unilateral deletion; however, mice with bilateral PTEN deletion in the motor cortex performed better than controls on the rotarod at 8 and 10 months post-deletion. Our findings demonstrate that robust neuronal growth can be induced in fully mature cortical neurons long after the developmental period has ended and that this continuous growth occurs without obvious functional impairments.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM049650(United States)

Transient Hypoxemia Chronically Disrupts Maturation of Preterm Fetal Ovine Subplate Neuron Arborization and Activity.

  • McClendon E
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Dec 6

Literature context: Laboratories, catalog #H-1000, RRID:AB_2336789). Sections were imaged within 2


Preterm infants are at risk for a broad spectrum of neurobehavioral disabilities associated with diffuse disturbances in cortical growth and development. During brain development, subplate neurons (SPNs) are a largely transient population that serves a critical role to establish functional cortical circuits. By dynamically integrating into developing cortical circuits, they assist in consolidation of intracortical and extracortical circuits. Although SPNs reside in close proximity to cerebral white matter, which is particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress, the susceptibility of SPNs remains controversial. We determined SPN responses to two common insults to the preterm brain: hypoxia-ischemia and hypoxia. We used a preterm fetal sheep model using both sexes that reproduces the spectrum of human cerebral injury and abnormal cortical growth. Unlike oligodendrocyte progenitors, SPNs displayed pronounced resistance to early or delayed cell death from hypoxia or hypoxia-ischemia. We thus explored an alternative hypothesis that these insults alter the maturational trajectory of SPNs. We used DiOlistic labeling to visualize the dendrites of SPNs selectively labeled for complexin-3. SPNs displayed reduced basal dendritic arbor complexity that was accompanied by chronic disturbances in SPN excitability and synaptic activity. SPN dysmaturation was significantly associated with the level of fetal hypoxemia and metabolic stress. Hence, despite the resistance of SPNs to insults that trigger white matter injury, transient hypoxemia disrupted SPN arborization and functional maturation during a critical window in cortical development. Strategies directed at limiting the duration or severity of hypoxemia during brain development may mitigate disturbances in cerebral growth and maturation related to SPN dysmaturation.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The human preterm brain commonly sustains blood flow and oxygenation disturbances that impair cerebral cortex growth and cause life-long cognitive and learning disabilities. We investigated the fate of subplate neurons (SPNs), which are a master regulator of brain development that plays critical roles in establishing cortical connections to other brain regions. We used a preterm fetal sheep model that reproduces key features of brain injury in human preterm survivors. We analyzed the responses of fetal SPNs to transient disturbances in fetal oxygenation. We discovered that SPNs are surprisingly resistant to cell death from low oxygen states but acquire chronic structural and functional changes that suggest new strategies to prevent learning problems in children and adults that survive preterm birth.

Glial Draper Rescues Aβ Toxicity in a Drosophila Model of Alzheimer's Disease.

  • Ray A
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Dec 6

Literature context: ing Media (Vector Laboratories; RRID:AB_2336789).


Pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) include amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and reactive gliosis. Glial cells offer protection against AD by engulfing extracellular Aβ peptides, but the repertoire of molecules required for glial recognition and destruction of Aβ are still unclear. Here, we show that the highly conserved glial engulfment receptor Draper/MEGF10 provides neuroprotection in an AD model of Drosophila (both sexes). Neuronal expression of human Aβ42arc in adult flies results in robust Aβ accumulation, neurodegeneration, locomotor dysfunction, and reduced lifespan. Notably, all of these phenotypes are more severe in draper mutant animals, whereas enhanced expression of glial Draper reverses Aβ accumulation, as well as behavioral phenotypes. We also show that the signal transducer and activator of transcription (Stat92E), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/AP-1 signaling, and expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (Mmp1) are activated downstream of Draper in glia in response to Aβ42arc exposure. Furthermore, Aβ42-induced upregulation of the phagolysosomal markers Atg8 and p62 was notably reduced in draper mutant flies. Based on our findings, we propose that glia clear neurotoxic Aβ peptides in the AD model Drosophila brain through a Draper/STAT92E/JNK cascade that may be coupled to protein degradation pathways such as autophagy or more traditional phagolysosomal destruction methods.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Alzheimer's disease (AD) and similar dementias are common incurable neurodegenerative disorders in the aging population. As the primary immune responders in the brain, glial cells are implicated as key players in the onset and progression of AD and related disorders. Here we show that the glial engulfment receptor Draper is protective in a Drosophila model of AD, reducing levels of amyloid β (Aβ) peptides, reversing locomotor defects, and extending lifespan. We further show that protein degradation pathways are induced downstream of Draper in AD model flies, supporting a model in which glia engulf and destroy Aβ peptides to reduce amyloid-associated toxicity.

Interneurons in the Honeybee Primary Auditory Center Responding to Waggle Dance-Like Vibration Pulses.

  • Ai H
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Nov 1

Literature context: g #H-1000, Vector Laboratories; RRID:AB_2336789).


Female honeybees use the "waggle dance" to communicate the location of nectar sources to their hive mates. Distance information is encoded in the duration of the waggle phase (von Frisch, 1967). During the waggle phase, the dancer produces trains of vibration pulses, which are detected by the follower bees via Johnston's organ located on the antennae. To uncover the neural mechanisms underlying the encoding of distance information in the waggle dance follower, we investigated morphology, physiology, and immunohistochemistry of interneurons arborizing in the primary auditory center of the honeybee (Apis mellifera). We identified major interneuron types, named DL-Int-1, DL-Int-2, and bilateral DL-dSEG-LP, that responded with different spiking patterns to vibration pulses applied to the antennae. Experimental and computational analyses suggest that inhibitory connection plays a role in encoding and processing the duration of vibration pulse trains in the primary auditory center of the honeybee.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The waggle dance represents a form of symbolic communication used by honeybees to convey the location of food sources via species-specific sound. The brain mechanisms used to decipher this symbolic information are unknown. We examined interneurons in the honeybee primary auditory center and identified different neuron types with specific properties. The results of our computational analyses suggest that inhibitory connection plays a role in encoding waggle dance signals. Our results are critical for understanding how the honeybee deciphers information from the sound produced by the waggle dance and provide new insights regarding how common neural mechanisms are used by different species to achieve communication.

Postinjury Induction of Activated ErbB2 Selectively Hyperactivates Denervated Schwann Cells and Promotes Robust Dorsal Root Axon Regeneration.

  • Han SB
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Nov 8

Literature context: ng medium (Vector Laboratories; RRID:AB_2336789). Images were acquired using a


Following nerve injury, denervated Schwann cells (SCs) convert to repair SCs, which enable regeneration of peripheral axons. However, the repair capacity of SCs and the regenerative capacity of peripheral axons are limited. In the present studies we examined a potential therapeutic strategy to enhance the repair capacity of SCs, and tested its efficacy in enhancing regeneration of dorsal root (DR) axons, whose regenerative capacity is particularly weak. We used male and female mice of a doxycycline-inducible transgenic line to induce expression of constitutively active ErbB2 (caErbB2) selectively in SCs after DR crush or transection. Two weeks after injury, injured DRs of induced animals contained far more SCs and SC processes. These SCs had not redifferentiated and continued to proliferate. Injured DRs of induced animals also contained far more axons that regrew along SC processes past the transection or crush site. Remarkably, SCs and axons in uninjured DRs remained quiescent, indicating that caErbB2 enhanced regeneration of injured DRs, without aberrantly activating SCs and axons in intact nerves. We also found that intraspinally expressed glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), but not the removal of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, greatly enhanced the intraspinal migration of caErbB2-expressing SCs, enabling robust penetration of DR axons into the spinal cord. These findings indicate that SC-selective, post-injury activation of ErbB2 provides a novel strategy to powerfully enhance the repair capacity of SCs and axon regeneration, without substantial off-target damage. They also highlight that promoting directed migration of caErbB2-expressing SCs by GDNF might be useful to enable axon regrowth in a non-permissive environment.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Repair of injured peripheral nerves remains a critical clinical problem. We currently lack a therapy that potently enhances axon regeneration in patients with traumatic nerve injury. It is extremely challenging to substantially increase the regenerative capacity of damaged nerves without deleterious off-target effects. It was therefore of great interest to discover that caErbB2 markedly enhances regeneration of damaged dorsal roots, while evoking little change in intact roots. To our knowledge, these findings are the first demonstration that repair capacity of denervated SCs can be efficaciously enhanced without altering innervated SCs. Our study also demonstrates that oncogenic ErbB2 signaling can be activated in SCs but not impede transdifferentiation of denervated SCs to regeneration-promoting repair SCs.

TMC2 Modifies Permeation Properties of the Mechanoelectrical Transducer Channel in Early Postnatal Mouse Cochlear Outer Hair Cells.

  • Corns LF
  • Front Mol Neurosci
  • 2017 Nov 3

Literature context: ing medium (Vector Laboratoris, RRID:AB_2336789). Cochleae were imaged with an


The ability of cochlear hair cells to convert sound into receptor potentials relies on the mechanoelectrical transducer (MET) channels present in their stereociliary bundles. There is strong evidence implying that transmembrane channel-like protein (TMC) 1 contributes to the pore-forming subunit of the mature MET channel, yet its expression is delayed (~>P5 in apical outer hair cells, OHCs) compared to the onset of mechanotransduction (~P1). Instead, the temporal expression of TMC2 coincides with this onset, indicating that it could be part of the immature MET channel. We investigated MET channel properties from OHCs of homo- and heterozygous Tmc2 knockout mice. In the presence of TMC2, the MET channel blocker dihydrostreptomycin (DHS) had a lower affinity for the channel, when the aminoglycoside was applied extracellularly or intracellularly, with the latter effect being more pronounced. In Tmc2 knockout mice OHCs were protected from aminoglycoside ototoxicity during the first postnatal week, most likely due to their small MET current and the lower saturation level for aminoglycoside entry into the individual MET channels. DHS entry through the MET channels of Tmc2 knockout OHCs was lower during the first than in the second postnatal week, suggestive of a developmental change in the channel pore properties independent of TMC2. However, the ability of TMC2 to modify the MET channel properties strongly suggests it contributes to the pore-forming subunit of the neonatal channel. Nevertheless, we found that TMC2, different from TMC1, is not necessary for OHC development. While TMC2 is required for mechanotransduction in mature vestibular hair cells, its expression in the immature cochlea may be an evolutionary remnant.

Localised dynactin protects growing microtubules to deliver oskar mRNA to the posterior cortex of the Drosophila oocyte.

  • Nieuwburg R
  • Elife
  • 2017 Oct 16

Literature context: Vector Laboratories Cat# H-1000 RRID:AB_2336789).


The localisation of oskar mRNA to the posterior of the Drosophila oocyte defines where the abdomen and germ cells form in the embryo. Kinesin 1 transports oskar mRNA to the oocyte posterior along a polarised microtubule cytoskeleton that grows from non-centrosomal microtubule organising centres (ncMTOCs) along the anterior/lateral cortex. Here, we show that the formation of this polarised microtubule network also requires the posterior regulation of microtubule growth. A missense mutation in the dynactin Arp1 subunit causes most oskar mRNA to localise in the posterior cytoplasm rather than cortically. oskar mRNA transport and anchoring are normal in this mutant, but the microtubules fail to reach the posterior pole. Thus, dynactin acts as an anti-catastrophe factor that extends microtubule growth posteriorly. Kinesin 1 transports dynactin to the oocyte posterior, creating a positive feedback loop that increases the length and persistence of the posterior microtubules that deliver oskar mRNA to the cortex.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - P40 OD018537()

Homeostatic plasticity shapes the visual system's first synapse.

  • Johnson RE
  • Nat Commun
  • 2017 Oct 31

Literature context: ld medium (Vector Laboratories, RRID:AB_2336789).


Vision in dim light depends on synapses between rods and rod bipolar cells (RBCs). Here, we find that these synapses exist in multiple configurations, in which single release sites of rods are apposed by one to three postsynaptic densities (PSDs). Single RBCs often form multiple PSDs with one rod; and neighboring RBCs share ~13% of their inputs. Rod-RBC synapses develop while ~7% of RBCs undergo programmed cell death (PCD). Although PCD is common throughout the nervous system, its influences on circuit development and function are not well understood. We generate mice in which ~53 and ~93% of RBCs, respectively, are removed during development. In these mice, dendrites of the remaining RBCs expand in graded fashion independent of light-evoked input. As RBC dendrites expand, they form fewer multi-PSD contacts with rods. Electrophysiological recordings indicate that this homeostatic co-regulation of neurite and synapse development preserves retinal function in dim light.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY023341()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY026978()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY027411()

Dedicated Hippocampal Inhibitory Networks for Locomotion and Immobility.

  • Arriaga M
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Sep 20

Literature context: Laboratories, catalog #H-1000, RRID:AB_2336789) and imaged on a Nikon Eclipse


Network activity is strongly tied to animal movement; however, hippocampal circuits selectively engaged during locomotion or immobility remain poorly characterized. Here we examined whether distinct locomotor states are encoded differentially in genetically defined classes of hippocampal interneurons. To characterize the relationship between interneuron activity and movement, we used in vivo, two-photon calcium imaging in CA1 of male and female mice, as animals performed a virtual-reality (VR) track running task. We found that activity in most somatostatin-expressing and parvalbumin-expressing interneurons positively correlated with locomotion. Surprisingly, nearly one in five somatostatin or one in seven parvalbumin interneurons were inhibited during locomotion and activated during periods of immobility. Anatomically, the somata of somatostatin immobility-activated neurons were smaller than those of movement-activated neurons. Furthermore, immobility-activated interneurons were distributed across cell layers, with somatostatin-expressing cells predominantly in stratum oriens and parvalbumin-expressing cells mostly in stratum pyramidale. Importantly, each cell's correlation between activity and movement was stable both over time and across VR environments. Our findings suggest that hippocampal interneuronal microcircuits are preferentially active during either movement or immobility periods. These inhibitory networks may regulate information flow in "labeled lines" within the hippocampus to process information during distinct behavioral states.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The hippocampus is required for learning and memory. Movement controls network activity in the hippocampus but it's unclear how hippocampal neurons encode movement state. We investigated neural circuits active during locomotion and immobility and found interneurons were selectively active during movement or stopped periods, but not both. Each cell's response to locomotion was consistent across time and environments, suggesting there are separate dedicated circuits for processing information during locomotion and immobility. Understanding how the hippocampus switches between different network configurations may lead to therapeutic approaches to hippocampal-dependent dysfunctions, such as Alzheimer's disease or cognitive decline.

A novel Drosophila injury model reveals severed axons are cleared through a Draper/MMP-1 signaling cascade.

  • Purice MD
  • Elife
  • 2017 Aug 21

Literature context: LD mounting media (Vector Labs, RRID:AB_2336789).


Neural injury triggers swift responses from glia, including glial migration and phagocytic clearance of damaged neurons. The transcriptional programs governing these complex innate glial immune responses are still unclear. Here, we describe a novel injury assay in adult Drosophila that elicits widespread glial responses in the ventral nerve cord (VNC). We profiled injury-induced changes in VNC gene expression by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and found that responsive genes fall into diverse signaling classes. One factor, matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), is induced in Drosophila ensheathing glia responding to severed axons. Interestingly, glial induction of MMP-1 requires the highly conserved engulfment receptor Draper, as well as AP-1 and STAT92E. In MMP-1 depleted flies, glia do not properly infiltrate neuropil regions after axotomy and, as a consequence, fail to clear degenerating axonal debris. This work identifies Draper-dependent activation of MMP-1 as a novel cascade required for proper glial clearance of severed axons.

Modeling of axonal endoplasmic reticulum network by spastic paraplegia proteins.

  • Yalçın B
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jul 25

Literature context: ield (Vector Laboratories, USA, RRID:AB_2336789), and images were collected usi


Axons contain a smooth tubular endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network that is thought to be continuous with ER throughout the neuron; the mechanisms that form this axonal network are unknown. Mutations affecting reticulon or REEP proteins, with intramembrane hairpin domains that model ER membranes, cause an axon degenerative disease, hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). We show that Drosophila axons have a dynamic axonal ER network, which these proteins help to model. Loss of HSP hairpin proteins causes ER sheet expansion, partial loss of ER from distal motor axons, and occasional discontinuities in axonal ER. Ultrastructural analysis reveals an extensive ER network in axons, which shows larger and fewer tubules in larvae that lack reticulon and REEP proteins, consistent with loss of membrane curvature. Therefore HSP hairpin-containing proteins are required for shaping and continuity of axonal ER, thus suggesting roles for ER modeling in axon maintenance and function.

Origins of Cell-Type-Specific Olfactory Processing in the Drosophila Mushroom Body Circuit.

  • Inada K
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Jul 19

Literature context: s H-1000; RRID:AB_2336789 Goat anti-


How cell-type-specific physiological properties shape neuronal functions in a circuit remains poorly understood. We addressed this issue in the Drosophila mushroom body (MB), a higher olfactory circuit, where neurons belonging to distinct glomeruli in the antennal lobe feed excitation to three types of intrinsic neurons, α/β, α'/β', and γ Kenyon cells (KCs). Two-photon optogenetics and intracellular recording revealed that whereas glomerular inputs add similarly in all KCs, spikes were generated most readily in α'/β' KCs. This cell type was also the most competent in recruiting GABAergic inhibition fed back by anterior paired lateral neuron, which responded to odors either locally within a lobe or globally across all lobes depending on the strength of stimuli. Notably, as predicted from these physiological properties, α'/β' KCs had the highest odor detection speed, sensitivity, and discriminability. This enhanced discrimination required proper GABAergic inhibition. These results link cell-type-specific mechanisms and functions in the MB circuit.

A subset of ipRGCs regulates both maturation of the circadian clock and segregation of retinogeniculate projections in mice.

  • Chew KS
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jun 15

Literature context: tor Labs, RRID:AB_2336789) with DAPI


The visual system consists of two major subsystems, image-forming circuits that drive conscious vision and non-image-forming circuits for behaviors such as circadian photoentrainment. While historically considered non-overlapping, recent evidence has uncovered crosstalk between these subsystems. Here, we investigated shared developmental mechanisms. We revealed an unprecedented role for light in the maturation of the circadian clock and discovered that intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are critical for this refinement process. In addition, ipRGCs regulate retinal waves independent of light, and developmental ablation of a subset of ipRGCs disrupts eye-specific segregation of retinogeniculate projections. Specifically, a subset of ipRGCs, comprising ~200 cells and which project intraretinally and to circadian centers in the brain, are sufficient to mediate both of these developmental processes. Thus, this subset of ipRGCs constitute a shared node in the neural networks that mediate light-dependent maturation of the circadian clock and light-independent refinement of retinogeniculate projections.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - F32 EY020108()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY017137()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY019053()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R15 EY026255()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL089742()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC007395()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM076430()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM104991()

Conditional Deletion of All Neurexins Defines Diversity of Essential Synaptic Organizer Functions for Neurexins.

  • Chen LY
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 3

Literature context: ldVector LabsCat# H-1000; RRID: AB2336789Chemicals, Peptides, and Recombi


Neurexins are recognized as key organizers of synapses that are essential for normal brain function. However, it is unclear whether neurexins are fundamental building blocks of all synapses with similar overall functions or context-dependent specifiers of synapse properties. To address this question, we produced triple cKO (conditional knockout) mice that allow ablating all neurexin expression in mice. Using neuron-specific manipulations combined with immunocytochemistry, paired recordings, and two-photon Ca2+ imaging, we analyzed excitatory synapses formed by climbing fibers on Purkinje cells in cerebellum and inhibitory synapses formed by parvalbumin- or somatostatin-positive interneurons on pyramidal layer 5 neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex. After pan-neurexin deletions, we observed in these synapses severe but dramatically different synaptic phenotypes that ranged from major impairments in their distribution and function (climbing-fiber synapses) to large decreases in synapse numbers (parvalbumin-positive synapses) and severe alterations in action potential-induced presynaptic Ca2+ transients (somatostatin-positive synapses). Thus, neurexins function primarily as context-dependent specifiers of synapses.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - F32 MH100745()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R37 MH052804()

Ezrin activation by LOK phosphorylation involves a PIP2-dependent wedge mechanism.

  • Pelaseyed T
  • Elife
  • 2017 Apr 21

Literature context: t# H-1000 RRID:AB_2336789) and image


How cells specify morphologically distinct plasma membrane domains is poorly understood. Prior work has shown that restriction of microvilli to the apical aspect of epithelial cells requires the localized activation of the membrane-F-actin linking protein ezrin. Using an in vitro system, we now define a multi-step process whereby the kinase LOK specifically phosphorylates ezrin to activate it. Binding of PIP2 to ezrin induces a conformational change permitting the insertion of the LOK C-terminal domain to wedge apart the membrane and F-actin-binding domains of ezrin. The N-terminal LOK kinase domain can then access a site 40 residues distal from the consensus sequence that collectively direct phosphorylation of the appropriate threonine residue. We suggest that this elaborate mechanism ensures that ezrin is only phosphorylated at the plasma membrane, and with high specificity by the apically localized kinase LOK.

Why Does Sleep Slow-Wave Activity Increase After Extended Wake? Assessing the Effects of Increased Cortical Firing During Wake and Sleep.

  • Rodriguez AV
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Dec 7

Literature context: , H-1000, RRID:AB_2336789) and image


During non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, cortical neurons alternate between ON periods of firing and OFF periods of silence. This bi-stability, which is largely synchronous across neurons, is reflected in the EEG as slow waves. Slow-wave activity (SWA) increases with wake duration and declines homeostatically during sleep, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. One possibility is neuronal "fatigue": high, sustained firing in wake would force neurons to recover with more frequent and longer OFF periods during sleep. Another possibility is net synaptic potentiation during wake: stronger coupling among neurons would lead to greater synchrony and therefore higher SWA. Here, we obtained a comparable increase in sustained firing (6 h) in cortex by: (1) keeping mice awake by exposure to novel objects to promote plasticity and (2) optogenetically activating a local population of cortical neurons at wake-like levels during sleep. Sleep after extended wake led to increased SWA, higher synchrony, and more time spent OFF, with a positive correlation between SWA, synchrony, and OFF periods. Moreover, time spent OFF was correlated with cortical firing during prior wake. After local optogenetic stimulation, SWA and cortical synchrony decreased locally, time spent OFF did not change, and local SWA was not correlated with either measure. Moreover, laser-induced cortical firing was not correlated with time spent OFF afterward. Overall, these results suggest that high sustained firing per se may not be the primary determinant of SWA increases observed after extended wake. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: A long-standing hypothesis is that neurons fire less during slow-wave sleep to recover from the "fatigue" accrued during wake, when overall synaptic activity is higher than in sleep. This idea, however, has rarely been tested and other factors, namely increased cortical synchrony, could explain why sleep slow-wave activity (SWA) is higher after extended wake. We forced neurons in the mouse cortex to fire at high levels for 6 h in 2 different conditions: during active wake with exploration and during sleep. We find that neurons need more time OFF only after sustained firing in wake, suggesting that fatigue due to sustained firing alone is unlikely to account for the increase in SWA that follows sleep deprivation.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01NS077863(United States)

bicoid mRNA localises to the Drosophila oocyte anterior by random Dynein-mediated transport and anchoring.

  • Trovisco V
  • Elife
  • 2016 Oct 28

Literature context: t# H-1000 RRID:AB_2336789).


bicoid mRNA localises to the Drosophila oocyte anterior from stage 9 of oogenesis onwards to provide a local source for Bicoid protein for embryonic patterning. Live imaging at stage 9 reveals that bicoid mRNA particles undergo rapid Dynein-dependent movements near the oocyte anterior, but with no directional bias. Furthermore, bicoid mRNA localises normally in shot2A2, which abolishes the polarised microtubule organisation. FRAP and photo-conversion experiments demonstrate that the RNA is stably anchored at the anterior, independently of microtubules. Thus, bicoid mRNA is localised by random active transport and anterior anchoring. Super-resolution imaging reveals that bicoid mRNA forms 110-120 nm particles with variable RNA content, but constant size. These particles appear to be well-defined structures that package the RNA for transport and anchoring.

Defects in neural guidepost structures and failure to remove leptomeningeal cells from the septal midline behind the interhemispheric fusion defects in Netrin1 deficient mice.

  • Hakanen J
  • Int. J. Dev. Neurosci.
  • 2015 Dec 8

Literature context: , H-1000, RRID:AB_2336789).


Corpus callosum (CC) is the largest commissural tract in mammalian brain and it acts to coordinate information between the two cerebral hemispheres. During brain development CC forms at the boundary area between the cortex and the septum and special transient neural and glial guidepost structures in this area are thought to be critical for CC formation. In addition, it is thought that the fusion of the two hemispheres in the septum area is a prerequisite for CC formation. However, very little is known of the molecular mechanisms behind the fusion of the two hemispheres. Netrin1 (NTN1) acts as an axon guidance molecule in the developing central nervous system and Ntn1 deficiency leads to the agenesis of CC in mouse. Here we have analyzed Ntn1 deficient mice to better understand the reasons behind the observed lack of CC. We show that Ntn1 deficiency leads to defects in neural, but not in glial guidepost structures that may contribute to the agenesis of CC. In addition, Nnt1 was expressed by the leptomeningeal cells bordering the two septal walls prior to fusion. Normally these cells are removed when the septal fusion occurs. At the same time, the Laminin containing basal lamina produced by the leptomeningeal cells is disrupted in the midline area to allow the cells to mix and the callosal axons to cross. In Ntn1 deficient embryos however, the leptomeninges and the basal lamina were not removed properly from the midline area and the septal fusion did not occur. Thus, NTN1 contributes to the formation of the CC by promoting the preceding removal of the midline leptomeningeal cells and interhemispheric fusion.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS039600(United States)