X
Forgot Password

If you have forgotten your password you can enter your email here and get a temporary password sent to your email.

Living Colors® DsRed Polyclonal Antibody

RRID:AB_10013483

Antibody ID

AB_10013483

Target Antigen

DsRed

Proper Citation

(Takara Bio Cat# 632496, RRID:AB_10013483)

Clonality

polyclonal antibody

Comments

Applications: Western blotting, immunoprecipitation. Consolidation on 9/2016: AB_10015246

Host Organism

rabbit

Vendor

Takara Bio

Cat Num

632496

Publications that use this research resource

Reconfiguration of a Multi-oscillator Network by Light in the Drosophila Circadian Clock.

  • Chatterjee A
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 Jul 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

The brain clock that drives circadian rhythms of locomotor activity relies on a multi-oscillator neuronal network. In addition to synchronizing the clock with day-night cycles, light also reformats the clock-driven daily activity pattern. How changes in lighting conditions modify the contribution of the different oscillators to remodel the daily activity pattern remains largely unknown. Our data in Drosophila indicate that light readjusts the interactions between oscillators through two different modes. We show that a morning s-LNv > DN1p circuit works in series, whereas two parallel evening circuits are contributed by LNds and other DN1ps. Based on the photic context, the master pacemaker in the s-LNv neurons swaps its enslaved partner-oscillator-LNd in the presence of light or DN1p in the absence of light-to always link up with the most influential phase-determining oscillator. When exposure to light further increases, the light-activated LNd pacemaker becomes independent by decoupling from the s-LNvs. The calibration of coupling by light is layered on a clock-independent network interaction wherein light upregulates the expression of the PDF neuropeptide in the s-LNvs, which inhibits the behavioral output of the DN1p evening oscillator. Thus, light modifies inter-oscillator coupling and clock-independent output-gating to achieve flexibility in the network. It is likely that the light-induced changes in the Drosophila brain circadian network could reveal general principles of adapting to varying environmental cues in any neuronal multi-oscillator system.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - AR052190(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R35 GM118087()

A Critical Neurodevelopmental Role for L-Type Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels in Neurite Extension and Radial Migration.

  • Kamijo S
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Jun 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Despite many association studies linking gene polymorphisms and mutations of L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs) in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, the roles of specific L-type VGCC during brain development remain unclear. Calcium signaling has been shown to be essential for neurodevelopmental processes such as sculpting of neurites, functional wiring, and fine tuning of growing networks. To investigate this relationship, we performed submembraneous calcium imaging using a membrane-tethered genetically encoded calcium indicator (GECI) Lck-G-CaMP7. We successfully recorded spontaneous regenerative calcium transients (SRCaTs) in developing mouse excitatory cortical neurons prepared from both sexes before synapse formation. SRCaTs originated locally in immature neurites independently of somatic calcium rises and were significantly more elevated in the axons than in dendrites. SRCaTs were not blocked by tetrodoxin, a Na+ channel blocker, but were strongly inhibited by hyperpolarization, suggesting a voltage-dependent source. Pharmacological and genetic manipulations revealed the critical importance of the Cav1.2 (CACNA1C) pore-forming subunit of L-type VGCCs, which were indeed expressed in immature mouse brains. Consistently, knocking out Cav1.2 resulted in significant alterations of neurite outgrowth. Furthermore, expression of a gain-of-function Cav1.2 mutant found in Timothy syndrome, an autosomal dominant multisystem disorder exhibiting syndromic autism, resulted in impaired radial migration of layer 2/3 excitatory neurons, whereas postnatal abrogation of Cav1.2 enhancement could rescue cortical malformation. Together, these lines of evidence suggest a critical role for spontaneous opening of L-type VGCCs in neural development and corticogenesis and indicate that L-type VGCCs might constitute a perinatal therapeutic target for neuropsychiatric calciochannelopathies.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Despite many association studies linking gene polymorphisms and mutations of L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs) in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, the roles of specific L-type VGCCs during brain development remain unclear. We here combined the latest Ca2+ indicator technology, quantitative pharmacology, and in utero electroporation and found a hitherto unsuspected role for L-type VGCCs in determining the Ca2+ signaling landscape of mouse immature neurons. We found that malfunctional L-type VGCCs in immature neurons before birth might cause errors in neuritic growth and cortical migration. Interestingly, the retarded corticogenesis phenotype was rescued by postnatal correction of L-type VGCC signal aberration. These findings suggest that L-type VGCCs might constitute a perinatal therapeutic target for neurodevelopment-associated psychiatric disorders.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - R01HD041900(United States)

Corticosterone Signaling and a Lateral Habenula-Ventral Tegmental Area Circuit Modulate Compulsive Self-Injurious Behavior in a Rat Model.

  • Guo Y
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Jun 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is commonly observed in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders, as well as in nonclinical populations with stress-related mental-health problems. However, the exact circuitry mechanisms underlying SIB have remained poorly understood. Here, with bilateral injection of muscimol into the entopeduncular nucleus (EP), we established a rat model of SIB. Following the muscimol injection, the male rats exhibited in a dose-dependent manner stereotypic self-biting behavior that lasted for hours and often resulted in wounds of various severities. The SIB was associated with an elevated level of serum corticosterone and could be exacerbated by enhancing the corticosterone signaling and, conversely, alleviated by inhibiting the corticosterone signaling. Activity mapping using c-fos immunostaining, combined with connectivity mapping using herpes simplex virus-based anterograde tracing from the EP and pseudorabies virus-based retrograde tracing from the masseter muscle, revealed the potential involvement of many brain areas in SIB. In particular, the lateral habenula (LHb) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the two connected brain areas involved in stress response and reward processing, showed a significant increase in neuronal activation during SIB. Furthermore, suppressing the LHb activity or modulating the GABAergic transmission in the VTA could significantly reduce the occurrence of SIB. These results demonstrate the importance of stress hormone signaling and the LHb-VTA circuit in modulating SIB resulting from EP malfunction, and suggest potential targets for therapeutic intervention of SIB and related disorders.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Self-injurious behavior (SIB) occurs in ∼4% of the general population, with substantially higher occurrence among adolescents and patients of neuropsychiatric disorders. Stress has been linked to the occurrence of SIB, yet the underlying mechanisms have remained unclear. Using a rat model of SIB induced by disruption of activity in the entopeduncular nucleus (EP), we found that the behavior is regulated by stress and linked to corticosterone signaling. Viral tracing and c-fos immunostaining revealed the involvement of various subcortical areas, especially the EP-lateral habenula (LHb)-ventral tegmental area (VTA) circuit, in SIB. Furthermore, regulating activity in the LHb or the VTA alleviates SIB. These results may have implications in the development of new strategies for treating SIB.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM037706(United States)

Evolution of Cortical Neurogenesis in Amniotes Controlled by Robo Signaling Levels.

  • Cárdenas A
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jun 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cerebral cortex size differs dramatically between reptiles, birds, and mammals, owing to developmental differences in neuron production. In mammals, signaling pathways regulating neurogenesis have been identified, but genetic differences behind their evolution across amniotes remain unknown. We show that direct neurogenesis from radial glia cells, with limited neuron production, dominates the avian, reptilian, and mammalian paleocortex, whereas in the evolutionarily recent mammalian neocortex, most neurogenesis is indirect via basal progenitors. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments in mouse, chick, and snake embryos and in human cerebral organoids demonstrate that high Slit/Robo and low Dll1 signaling, via Jag1 and Jag2, are necessary and sufficient to drive direct neurogenesis. Attenuating Robo signaling and enhancing Dll1 in snakes and birds recapitulates the formation of basal progenitors and promotes indirect neurogenesis. Our study identifies modulation in activity levels of conserved signaling pathways as a primary mechanism driving the expansion and increased complexity of the mammalian neocortex during amniote evolution.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - (United Kingdom)

Dopamine D2 Receptors in the Paraventricular Thalamus Attenuate Cocaine Locomotor Sensitization.

  • Clark AM
  • eNeuro
  • 2018 Jun 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Alterations in thalamic dopamine (DA) or DA D2 receptors (D2Rs) have been measured in drug addiction and schizophrenia, but the relevance of thalamic D2Rs for behavior is largely unknown. Using in situ hybridization and mice expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the Drd2 promoter, we found that D2R expression within the thalamus is enriched in the paraventricular nucleus (PVT) as well as in more ventral midline thalamic nuclei. Within the PVT, D2Rs are inhibitory as their activation inhibits neuronal action potentials in brain slices. Using Cre-dependent anterograde and retrograde viral tracers, we further determined that PVT neurons are reciprocally interconnected with multiple areas of the limbic system including the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Based on these anatomical findings, we analyzed the role of D2Rs in the PVT in behaviors that are supported by these areas and that also have relevance for schizophrenia and drug addiction. Male and female mice with selective overexpression of D2Rs in the PVT showed attenuated cocaine locomotor sensitization, whereas anxiety levels, fear conditioning, sensorimotor gating, and food-motivated behaviors were not affected. These findings suggest the importance of PVT inhibition by D2Rs in modulating the sensitivity to cocaine, a finding that may have novel implications for human drug use.

Anatomic and Physiologic Heterogeneity of Subgroup-A Auditory Sensory Neurons in Fruit Flies.

  • Ishikawa Y
  • Front Neural Circuits
  • 2018 May 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

The antennal ear of the fruit fly detects acoustic signals in intraspecific communication, such as the courtship song and agonistic sounds. Among the five subgroups of mechanosensory neurons in the fly ear, subgroup-A neurons respond maximally to vibrations over a wide frequency range between 100 and 1,200 Hz. The functional organization of the neural circuit comprised of subgroup-A neurons, however, remains largely unknown. In the present study, we used 11 GAL4 strains that selectively label subgroup-A neurons and explored the diversity of subgroup-A neurons by combining single-cell anatomic analysis and Ca2+ imaging. Our findings indicate that the subgroup-A neurons that project into various combinations of subareas in the brain are more anatomically diverse than previously described. Subgroup-A neurons were also physiologically diverse, and some types were tuned to a narrow frequency range, suggesting that the response of subgroup-A neurons to sounds of a wide frequency range is due to the existence of several types of subgroup-A neurons. Further, we found that an auditory behavioral response to the courtship song of flies was attenuated when most subgroup-A neurons were silenced. Together, these findings characterize the heterogeneous functional organization of subgroup-A neurons, which might facilitate species-specific acoustic signal detection.

Expression of TRPV1 channels by Cajal-Retzius cells and layer-specific modulation of synaptic transmission by capsaicin in the mouse hippocampus.

  • Anstötz M
  • J. Physiol. (Lond.)
  • 2018 May 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

KEY POINTS: By taking advantage of calcium imaging and electrophysiology, we provide direct pharmacological evidence for the functional expression of TRPV1 channels in hippocampal Cajal-Retzius cells. Application of the TRPV1 activator capsaicin powerfully enhances spontaneous synaptic transmission in the hippocampal layers that are innervated by the axons of Cajal-Retzius cells. Capsaicin-triggered calcium responses and membrane currents in Cajal-Retzius cells, as well as layer-specific modulation of spontaneous synaptic transmission, are absent when the drug is applied to slices prepared from TRPV1- /- animals. We discuss the implications of the functional expression of TRPV1 channels in Cajal-Retzius cells and of the observed TRPV1-dependent layer-specific modulation of synaptic transmission for physiological and pathological network processing. ABSTRACT: The vanilloid receptor TRPV1 forms complex polymodal channels that are expressed by sensory neurons and play a critical role in nociception. Their distribution pattern and functions in cortical circuits are, however, much less understood. Although TRPV1 reporter mice have suggested that, in the hippocampus, TRPV1 is predominantly expressed by Cajal-Retzius cells (CRs), direct functional evidence is missing. As CRs powerfully excite GABAergic interneurons of the molecular layers, TRPV1 could play important roles in the regulation of layer-specific processing. Here, we have taken advantage of calcium imaging with the genetically encoded indicator GCaMP6s and patch-clamp techniques to study the responses of hippocampal CRs to the activation of TRPV1 by capsaicin, and have compared the effect of TRPV1 stimulation on synaptic transmission in layers innervated or non-innervated by CRs. Capsaicin induced both calcium responses and membrane currents in ∼50% of the cell tested. Neither increases of intracellular calcium nor whole-cell currents were observed in the presence of the TRPV1 antagonists capsazepine/Ruthenium Red or in slices prepared from TRPV1 knockout mice. We also report a powerful TRPV1-dependent enhancement of spontaneous synaptic transmission onto interneurons with dendritic trees confined to the layers innervated by CRs. In conclusion, our work establishes that functional TRPV1 is expressed by a significant fraction of CRs and we propose that TRPV1 activity may regulate layer-specific synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. Lastly, as CR density decreases during postnatal development, we also propose that functional TRPV1 receptors may be related to mechanisms involved in CR progressive reduction by calcium-dependent toxicity/apoptosis.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - NIHR-RP-R3-12-026(United Kingdom)

Basal mitophagy is widespread in Drosophila but minimally affected by loss of Pink1 or parkin.

  • Lee JJ
  • J. Cell Biol.
  • 2018 May 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Parkinson's disease factors PINK1 and parkin are strongly implicated in stress-induced mitophagy in vitro, but little is known about their impact on basal mitophagy in vivo. We generated transgenic Drosophila melanogaster expressing fluorescent mitophagy reporters to evaluate the impact of Pink1/parkin mutations on basal mitophagy under physiological conditions. We find that mitophagy is readily detectable and abundant in many tissues, including Parkinson's disease-relevant dopaminergic neurons. However, we did not detect mitolysosomes in flight muscle. Surprisingly, in Pink1 or parkin null flies, we did not observe any substantial impact on basal mitophagy. Because these flies exhibit locomotor defects and dopaminergic neuron loss, our findings raise questions about current assumptions of the pathogenic mechanism associated with the PINK1/parkin pathway. Our findings provide evidence that Pink1 and parkin are not essential for bulk basal mitophagy in Drosophila They also emphasize that mechanisms underpinning basal mitophagy remain largely obscure.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - MC_UP_1501/1()
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA111294(United States)

A Non-canonical Feedback Circuit for Rapid Interactions between Somatosensory Cortices.

  • Minamisawa G
  • Cell Rep
  • 2018 May 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

Sensory perception depends on interactions among cortical areas. These interactions are mediated by canonical patterns of connectivity in which higher areas send feedback projections to lower areas via neurons in superficial and deep layers. Here, we probed the circuit basis of interactions among two areas critical for touch perception in mice, whisker primary (wS1) and secondary (wS2) somatosensory cortices. Neurons in layer 4 of wS2 (S2L4) formed a major feedback pathway to wS1. Feedback from wS2 to wS1 was organized somatotopically. Spikes evoked by whisker deflections occurred nearly as rapidly in wS2 as in wS1, including among putative S2L4 → S1 feedback neurons. Axons from S2L4 → S1 neurons sent stimulus orientation-specific activity to wS1. Optogenetic excitation of S2L4 neurons modulated activity across both wS2 and wS1, while inhibition of S2L4 reduced orientation tuning among wS1 neurons. Thus, a non-canonical feedback circuit, originating in layer 4 of S2, rapidly modulates early tactile processing.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01-HL070561(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS050274()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS085121()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS089652()

Schaffer Collateral Inputs to CA1 Excitatory and Inhibitory Neurons Follow Different Connectivity Rules.

  • Kwon O
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 May 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neural circuits, governed by a complex interplay between excitatory and inhibitory neurons, are the substrate for information processing, and the organization of synaptic connectivity in neural network is an important determinant of circuit function. Here, we analyzed the fine structure of connectivity in hippocampal CA1 excitatory and inhibitory neurons innervated by Schaffer collaterals (SCs) using mGRASP in male mice. Our previous study revealed spatially structured synaptic connectivity between CA3 and CA1 pyramidal cells (PCs). Surprisingly, parvalbumin-positive interneurons (PVs) showed a significantly more random pattern spatial structure. Notably, application of Peters' rule for synapse prediction by random overlap between axons and dendrites enhanced structured connectivity in PCs, but, by contrast, made the connectivity pattern in PVs more random. In addition, PCs in a deep sublayer of striatum pyramidale appeared more highly structured than PCs in superficial layers, and little or no sublayer specificity was found in PVs. Our results show that CA1 excitatory PCs and inhibitory PVs innervated by the same SC inputs follow different connectivity rules. The different organizations of fine scale structured connectivity in hippocampal excitatory and inhibitory neurons provide important insights into the development and functions of neural networks.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding how neural circuits generate behavior is one of the central goals of neuroscience. An important component of this endeavor is the mapping of fine-scale connection patterns that underlie, and help us infer, signal processing in the brain. Here, using our recently developed synapse detection technology (mGRASP and neuTube), we provide detailed profiles of synaptic connectivity in excitatory (CA1 pyramidal) and inhibitory (CA1 parvalbumin-positive) neurons innervated by the same presynaptic inputs (CA3 Schaffer collaterals). Our results reveal that these two types of CA1 neurons follow different connectivity patterns. Our new evidence for differently structured connectivity at a fine scale in hippocampal excitatory and inhibitory neurons provides a better understanding of hippocampal networks and will guide theoretical and experimental studies.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - G0800784(United Kingdom)

Corticospinal Circuits from the Sensory and Motor Cortices Differentially Regulate Skilled Movements through Distinct Spinal Interneurons.

  • Ueno M
  • Cell Rep
  • 2018 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Little is known about the organizational and functional connectivity of the corticospinal (CS) circuits that are essential for voluntary movement. Here, we map the connectivity between CS neurons in the forelimb motor and sensory cortices and various spinal interneurons, demonstrating that distinct CS-interneuron circuits control specific aspects of skilled movements. CS fibers originating in the mouse motor cortex directly synapse onto premotor interneurons, including those expressing Chx10. Lesions of the motor cortex or silencing of spinal Chx10+ interneurons produces deficits in skilled reaching. In contrast, CS neurons in the sensory cortex do not synapse directly onto premotor interneurons, and they preferentially connect to Vglut3+ spinal interneurons. Lesions to the sensory cortex or inhibition of Vglut3+ interneurons cause deficits in food pellet release movements in goal-oriented tasks. These findings reveal that CS neurons in the motor and sensory cortices differentially control skilled movements through distinct CS-spinal interneuron circuits.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG023806(United States)

FYCO1 mediates clearance of α-synuclein aggregates through a Rab7-dependent mechanism.

  • Saridaki T
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2018 May 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Parkinson disease can be caused by mutations in the α-synuclein gene and is characterized by aggregates of α-synuclein protein. We have previously shown that overexpression of the small GTPase Rab7 can induce clearance of α-synuclein aggregates. In this study, we investigate which Rab7 effectors mediate this effect. To model Parkinson disease we expressed the pathogenic A53T mutant of α-synuclein in HEK293T cells and Drosophila melanogaster. We tested the Rab7 effectors FYVE and coiled-coil domain-containing protein 1 (FYCO1) and Rab-interacting lysosomal protein (RILP). FYCO1-EGFP decorated vesicles containing α-synuclein. RILP-EGFP also decorated vesicular structures, but they did not contain α-synuclein. FYCO1 overexpression reduced the number of cells with α-synuclein aggregates, defined as visible particles of EGFP-tagged α-synuclein, whereas RILP did not. FYCO1 but not RILP reduced the amount of α-synuclein protein as assayed by western blot, increased the disappearance of α-synuclein aggregates in time-lapse microscopy, and decreased α-synuclein-induced toxicity assayed by the Trypan blue assay. siRNA-mediated knockdown of FYCO1 but not RILP reduced Rab7 induced aggregate clearance. Collectively, these findings indicate that FYCO1 and not RILP mediates Rab7 induced aggregate clearance. The effect of FYCO1 on aggregate clearance was blocked by the dominant negative Rab7 indicating that FYCO1 requires active Rab7 to function. Electron microscopic analysis and insertion of lysosomal membranes into the plasma membrane indicate that FYCO1 could lead to secretion of α-synuclein aggregates. Extracellular α-synuclein as assayed by ELISA was, however, not increased with FYCO1. Coexpression of FYCO1 in the fly model decreased α-synuclein aggregates as shown by the filter trap assay and rescued the locomotor deficit resulting from neuronal A53T-α-synuclein expression. This latter finding confirms that a pathway involving Rab7 and FYCO1 stimulates degradation of α-synuclein and could be beneficial in patients with Parkinson disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Funding information:
  • NIAAA NIH HHS - P20 AA017837(United States)

Essential Role for Hypothalamic Calcitonin Receptor‒Expressing Neurons in the Control of Food Intake by Leptin.

  • Pan W
  • Endocrinology
  • 2018 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin acts via its receptor (LepRb) on central nervous system neurons to communicate the repletion of long-term energy stores, to decrease food intake, and to promote energy expenditure. We generated mice that express Cre recombinase from the calcitonin receptor (Calcr) locus (Calcrcre mice) to study Calcr-expressing LepRb (LepRbCalcr) neurons, which reside predominantly in the arcuate nucleus (ARC). Calcrcre-mediated ablation of LepRb in LepRbCalcrknockout (KO) mice caused hyperphagic obesity. Because LepRb-mediated transcriptional control plays a crucial role in leptin action, we used translating ribosome affinity purification followed by RNA sequencing to define the transcriptome of hypothalamic Calcr neurons, along with its alteration in LepRbCalcrKO mice. We found that ARC LepRbCalcr cells include neuropeptide Y (NPY)/agouti-related peptide (AgRP)/γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) ("NAG") cells as well as non-NAG cells that are distinct from pro-opiomelanocortin cells. Furthermore, although LepRbCalcrKO mice exhibited dysregulated expression of several genes involved in energy balance, neither the expression of Agrp and Npy nor the activity of NAG cells was altered in vivo. Thus, although direct leptin action via LepRbCalcr cells plays an important role in leptin action, our data also suggest that leptin indirectly, as well as directly, regulates these cells.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - HHSN261200800001E(United States)

Immunohistochemical Procedures for Characterizing the Retinal Expression Patterns of Cre Driver Mouse Lines.

  • Lu Q
  • Methods Mol. Biol.
  • 2018 Apr 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

The retina is a thin neural tissue sitting on the backside of the eye, composed of light-sensing cells, interneurons, and output ganglion neurons. The latter send electrical signals to higher visual centers in the brain. Transgenic mouse lines are becoming one of the most valuable mammalian animal models for the study of visual signal processing within the retina. Especially, the generation of Cre recombinase transgenic mouse lines provides a powerful tool for genetic manipulation. A key step for the utilization of transgenic lines is the characterization of their transgene expression patterns in the retina. Here we describe a standard protocol for characterizing the expression pattern of the Cre recombinase or fluorescent proteins in the retina with an immunohistochemical approach.

Anterior Cingulate Cortex Contributes to Alcohol Withdrawal- Induced and Socially Transferred Hyperalgesia.

  • Smith ML
  • eNeuro
  • 2018 Apr 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pain is often described as a "biopsychosocial" process, yet social influences on pain and underlying neural mechanisms are only now receiving significant experimental attention. Expression of pain by one individual can be communicated to nearby individuals by auditory, visual, and olfactory cues. Conversely, the perception of another's pain can lead to physiological and behavioral changes in the observer, which can include induction of hyperalgesia in "bystanders" exposed to "primary" conspecifics in which hyperalgesia has been induced directly. The current studies were designed to investigate the neural mechanisms responsible for the social transfer of hyperalgesia in bystander mice housed and tested with primary mice in which hyperalgesia was induced using withdrawal (WD) from voluntary alcohol consumption. Male C57BL/6J mice undergoing WD from a two-bottle choice voluntary alcohol-drinking procedure served as the primary mice. Mice housed in the same room served as bystanders. Naïve, water-drinking controls were housed in a separate room. Immunohistochemical mapping identified significantly enhanced Fos immunoreactivity (Fos-ir) in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and insula (INS) of bystander mice compared to naïve controls, and in the dorsal medial hypothalamus (DMH) of primary mice. Chemogenetic inactivation of the ACC but not primary somatosensory cortex reversed the expression of hyperalgesia in both primary and bystander mice. These studies point to an overlapping neural substrate for expression of socially transferred hyperalgesia and that expressed during alcohol WD.

Kir4.1-Dependent Astrocyte-Fast Motor Neuron Interactions Are Required for Peak Strength.

  • Kelley KW
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Apr 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Diversified neurons are essential for sensorimotor function, but whether astrocytes become specialized to optimize circuit performance remains unclear. Large fast α-motor neurons (FαMNs) of spinal cord innervate fast-twitch muscles that generate peak strength. We report that ventral horn astrocytes express the inward-rectifying K+ channel Kir4.1 (a.k.a. Kcnj10) around MNs in a VGLUT1-dependent manner. Loss of astrocyte-encoded Kir4.1 selectively altered FαMN size and function and led to reduced peak strength. Overexpression of Kir4.1 in astrocytes was sufficient to increase MN size through activation of the PI3K/mTOR/pS6 pathway. Kir4.1 was downregulated cell autonomously in astrocytes derived from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients with SOD1 mutation. However, astrocyte Kir4.1 was dispensable for FαMN survival even in the mutant SOD1 background. These findings show that astrocyte Kir4.1 is essential for maintenance of peak strength and suggest that Kir4.1 downregulation might uncouple symptoms of muscle weakness from MN cell death in diseases like ALS.

Funding information:
  • FIC NIH HHS - K01 TW000001(United States)

Role for Wnt Signaling in Retinal Neuropil Development: Analysis via RNA-Seq and In Vivo Somatic CRISPR Mutagenesis.

  • Sarin S
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Apr 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Screens for genes that orchestrate neural circuit formation in mammals have been hindered by practical constraints of germline mutagenesis. To overcome these limitations, we combined RNA-seq with somatic CRISPR mutagenesis to study synapse development in the mouse retina. Here synapses occur between cellular layers, forming two multilayered neuropils. The outer neuropil, the outer plexiform layer (OPL), contains synapses made by rod and cone photoreceptor axons on rod and cone bipolar dendrites, respectively. We used RNA-seq to identify selectively expressed genes encoding cell surface and secreted proteins and CRISPR-Cas9 electroporation with cell-specific promoters to assess their roles in OPL development. Among the genes identified in this way are Wnt5a and Wnt5b. They are produced by rod bipolars and activate a non-canonical signaling pathway in rods to regulate early OPL patterning. The approach we use here can be applied to other parts of the brain.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - NIH T32 HG002536(United States)

Dunce Phosphodiesterase Acts as a Checkpoint for Drosophila Long-Term Memory in a Pair of Serotonergic Neurons.

  • Scheunemann L
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Apr 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

A key function of the brain is to filter essential information and store it in the form of stable, long-term memory (LTM). We demonstrate here that the Dunce (Dnc) phosphodiesterase, an important enzyme that degrades cAMP, acts as a molecular switch that controls LTM formation in Drosophila. We show that, during LTM formation, Dnc is inhibited in the SPN, a pair of newly characterized serotonergic neurons, which stimulates the cAMP/PKA pathway. As a consequence, the SPN activates downstream dopaminergic neurons, opening the gate for LTM formation in the olfactory memory center, the mushroom body. Strikingly, transient inhibition of Dnc in the SPN by RNAi was sufficient to induce LTM formation with a training protocol that normally generates only short-lived memory. Thus, Dnc activity in the SPN acts as a memory checkpoint to guarantee that only the most relevant learned experiences are consolidated into stable memory.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U19 DK06234(United States)

An Optical Neuron-Astrocyte Proximity Assay at Synaptic Distance Scales.

  • Octeau JC
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Apr 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Astrocytes are complex bushy cells that serve important functions through close contacts between their processes and synapses. However, the spatial interactions and dynamics of astrocyte processes relative to synapses have proven problematic to study in adult living brain tissue. Here, we report a genetically targeted neuron-astrocyte proximity assay (NAPA) to measure astrocyte-synapse spatial interactions within intact brain preparations and at synaptic distance scales. The method exploits resonance energy transfer between extracellularly displayed fluorescent proteins targeted to synapses and astrocyte processes. We validated the method in the striatal microcircuitry following in vivo expression. We determined the proximity of striatal astrocyte processes to distinct neuronal input pathways, to D1 and D2 medium spiny neuron synapses, and we evaluated how astrocyte-to-excitatory synapse proximity changed following cortical afferent stimulation, during ischemia and in a model of Huntington's disease. NAPA provides a simple approach to measure astrocyte-synapse spatial interactions in a variety of experimental scenarios. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA104926(United States)

Morphological heterogeneity among corticogeniculate neurons in ferrets: quantification and comparison with a previous report in macaque monkeys.

  • Hasse JM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Apr 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

The corticogeniculate (CG) pathway links the visual cortex with the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the thalamus and is the first feedback connection in the mammalian visual system. Whether functional connections between CG neurons and LGN relay neurons obey or ignore the separation of feedforward visual signals into parallel processing streams is not known. Accordingly, there is some debate about whether CG neurons are morphologically heterogeneous or homogenous. Here we characterized the morphology of CG neurons in the ferret, a visual carnivore with distinct feedforward parallel processing streams, and compared the morphology of ferret CG neurons with CG neuronal morphology previously described in macaque monkeys [Briggs et al. (2016) Neuron, 90, 388]. We used a G-deleted rabies virus as a retrograde tracer to label CG neurons in adult ferrets. We then reconstructed complete dendritic morphologies for a large sample of virus-labeled CG neurons. Quantification of CG morphology revealed three distinct CG neuronal subtypes with striking similarities to the CG neuronal subtypes observed in macaques. These findings suggest that CG neurons may be morphologically diverse in a variety of highly visual mammals in which feedforward visual pathways are organized into parallel processing streams. Accordingly, these results provide support for the notion that CG feedback is functionally parallel stream-specific in ferrets and macaques.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA062242(United States)
  • NEI NIH HHS - R00 EY018683()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY025219()

Nociceptive interneurons control modular motor pathways to promote escape behavior in Drosophila.

  • Burgos A
  • Elife
  • 2018 Mar 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Rapid and efficient escape behaviors in response to noxious sensory stimuli are essential for protection and survival. Yet, how noxious stimuli are transformed to coordinated escape behaviors remains poorly understood. In Drosophila larvae, noxious stimuli trigger sequential body bending and corkscrew-like rolling behavior. We identified a population of interneurons in the nerve cord of Drosophila, termed Down-and-Back (DnB) neurons, that are activated by noxious heat, promote nociceptive behavior, and are required for robust escape responses to noxious stimuli. Electron microscopic circuit reconstruction shows that DnBs are targets of nociceptive and mechanosensory neurons, are directly presynaptic to pre-motor circuits, and link indirectly to Goro rolling command-like neurons. DnB activation promotes activity in Goro neurons, and coincident inactivation of Goro neurons prevents the rolling sequence but leaves intact body bending motor responses. Thus, activity from nociceptors to DnB interneurons coordinates modular elements of nociceptive escape behavior.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - (United States)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science - KAKENHI 26890025()
  • National Institutes of Health - GM086458()
  • National Institutes of Health - NS061908()
  • National Institutes of Health - NS086564()
  • National Institutes of Health - NS090909-01()
  • National Science Foundation - Graduate Research Fellowship()
  • Thompson Family Foundation - Innovation Award()

Synapse maintenance and restoration in the retina by NGL2.

  • Soto F
  • Elife
  • 2018 Mar 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) promote synapse formation in the developing nervous system. To what extent they maintain and can restore connections in the mature nervous system is unknown. Furthermore, how synaptic CAMs affect the growth of synapse-bearing neurites is unclear. Here, we use adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) to delete, re-, and overexpress the synaptic CAM NGL2 in individual retinal horizontal cells. When we removed NGL2 from horizontal cells, their axons overgrew and formed fewer synapses, irrespective of whether Ngl2 was deleted during development or in mature circuits. When we re-expressed NGL2 in knockout mice, horizontal cell axon territories and synapse numbers were restored, even if AAVs were injected after phenotypes had developed. Finally, overexpression of NGL2 in wild-type horizontal cells elevated synapse numbers above normal levels. Thus, NGL2 promotes the formation, maintenance, and restoration of synapses in the developing and mature retina, and restricts axon growth throughout life.

Funding information:
  • National Eye Institute - R01EY023341()
  • National Eye Institute - R01EY026978()
  • National Eye Institute - R01EY027411()
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA 110793(United States)

The signaling lipid sphingosine 1-phosphate regulates mechanical pain.

  • Hill RZ
  • Elife
  • 2018 Mar 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Somatosensory neurons mediate responses to diverse mechanical stimuli, from innocuous touch to noxious pain. While recent studies have identified distinct populations of A mechanonociceptors (AMs) that are required for mechanical pain, the molecular underpinnings of mechanonociception remain unknown. Here, we show that the bioactive lipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) and S1P Receptor 3 (S1PR3) are critical regulators of acute mechanonociception. Genetic or pharmacological ablation of S1PR3, or blockade of S1P production, significantly impaired the behavioral response to noxious mechanical stimuli, with no effect on responses to innocuous touch or thermal stimuli. These effects are mediated by fast-conducting A mechanonociceptors, which displayed a significant decrease in mechanosensitivity in S1PR3 mutant mice. We show that S1PR3 signaling tunes mechanonociceptor excitability via modulation of KCNQ2/3 channels. Our findings define a new role for S1PR3 in regulating neuronal excitability and establish the importance of S1P/S1PR3 signaling in the setting of mechanical pain thresholds.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - Faculty Scholar Award()
  • Medical Research Council - G0800297(United Kingdom)
  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases - AR051219()
  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases - AR059385()
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences - GM007367()
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke - NS077224()
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke - NS098097()
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke - NS105449()

Drosophila mushroom bodies integrate hunger and satiety signals to control innate food-seeking behavior.

  • Tsao CH
  • Elife
  • 2018 Mar 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

The fruit fly can evaluate its energy state and decide whether to pursue food-related cues. Here, we reveal that the mushroom body (MB) integrates hunger and satiety signals to control food-seeking behavior. We have discovered five pathways in the MB essential for hungry flies to locate and approach food. Blocking the MB-intrinsic Kenyon cells (KCs) and the MB output neurons (MBONs) in these pathways impairs food-seeking behavior. Starvation bi-directionally modulates MBON responses to a food odor, suggesting that hunger and satiety controls occur at the KC-to-MBON synapses. These controls are mediated by six types of dopaminergic neurons (DANs). By manipulating these DANs, we could inhibit food-seeking behavior in hungry flies or promote food seeking in fed flies. Finally, we show that the DANs potentially receive multiple inputs of hunger and satiety signals. This work demonstrates an information-rich central circuit in the fly brain that controls hunger-driven food-seeking behavior.

Funding information:
  • Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan - 105-2628-B-001-005-MY3()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM59507(United States)

Loss of α-Synuclein Does Not Affect Mitochondrial Bioenergetics in Rodent Neurons.

  • Pathak D
  • eNeuro
  • 2018 Mar 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Increased α-synuclein (αsyn) and mitochondrial dysfunction play central roles in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD), and lowering αsyn is under intensive investigation as a therapeutic strategy for PD. Increased αsyn levels disrupt mitochondria and impair respiration, while reduced αsyn protects against mitochondrial toxins, suggesting that interactions between αsyn and mitochondria influences the pathologic and physiologic functions of αsyn. However, we do not know if αsyn affects normal mitochondrial function or if lowering αsyn levels impacts bioenergetic function, especially at the nerve terminal where αsyn is enriched. To determine if αsyn is required for normal mitochondrial function in neurons, we comprehensively evaluated how lowering αsyn affects mitochondrial function. We found that αsyn knockout (KO) does not affect the respiration of cultured hippocampal neurons or cortical and dopaminergic synaptosomes, and that neither loss of αsyn nor all three (α, β and γ) syn isoforms decreased mitochondria-derived ATP levels at the synapse. Similarly, neither αsyn KO nor knockdown altered the capacity of synaptic mitochondria to meet the energy requirements of synaptic vesicle cycling or influenced the localization of mitochondria to dopamine (DA) synapses in vivo. Finally, αsyn KO did not affect overall energy metabolism in mice assessed with a Comprehensive Lab Animal Monitoring System. These studies suggest either that αsyn has little or no significant physiological effect on mitochondrial bioenergetic function, or that any such functions are fully compensated for when lost. These results implicate that αsyn levels can be reduced in neurons without impairing (or improving) mitochondrial bioenergetics or distribution.

Drosophila Fezf coordinates laminar-specific connectivity through cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic mechanisms.

  • Peng J
  • Elife
  • 2018 Mar 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Laminar arrangement of neural connections is a fundamental feature of neural circuit organization. Identifying mechanisms that coordinate neural connections within correct layers is thus vital for understanding how neural circuits are assembled. In the medulla of the Drosophila visual system neurons form connections within ten parallel layers. The M3 layer receives input from two neuron types that sequentially innervate M3 during development. Here we show that M3-specific innervation by both neurons is coordinated by Drosophila Fezf (dFezf), a conserved transcription factor that is selectively expressed by the earlier targeting input neuron. In this cell, dFezf instructs layer specificity and activates the expression of a secreted molecule (Netrin) that regulates the layer specificity of the other input neuron. We propose that employment of transcriptional modules that cell-intrinsically target neurons to specific layers, and cell-extrinsically recruit other neurons is a general mechanism for building layered networks of neural connections.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R21 AI073587(United States)

The cannabinoid-1 receptor is abundantly expressed in striatal striosomes and striosome-dendron bouquets of the substantia nigra.

  • Davis MI
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2018 Mar 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Presynaptic cannabinoid-1 receptors (CB1-R) bind endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids to modulate neurotransmitter release. CB1-Rs are expressed throughout the basal ganglia, including striatum and substantia nigra, where they play a role in learning and control of motivated actions. However, the pattern of CB1-R expression across different striatal compartments, microcircuits and efferent targets, and the contribution of different CB1-R-expressing neurons to this pattern, are unclear. We use a combination of conventional techniques and novel genetic models to evaluate CB1-R expression in striosome (patch) and matrix compartments of the striatum, and in nigral targets of striatal medium spiny projection neurons (MSNs). CB1-R protein and mRNA follow a descending dorsolateral-to-ventromedial intensity gradient in the caudal striatum, with elevated expression in striosomes relative to the surrounding matrix. The lateral predominance of striosome CB1-Rs contrasts with that of the classical striosomal marker, the mu opioid receptor (MOR), which is expressed most prominently in rostromedial striosomes. The dorsolateral-to-ventromedial CB1-R gradient is similar to Drd2 dopamine receptor immunoreactivity and opposite to Substance P. This topology of CB1-R expression is maintained downstream in the globus pallidus and substantia nigra. Dense CB1-R-expressing striatonigral fibers extend dorsally within the substantia nigra pars reticulata, and colocalize with bundles of ventrally extending, striosome-targeted, dendrites of dopamine-containing neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (striosome-dendron bouquets). Within striatum, CB1-Rs colocalize with fluorescently labeled MSN collaterals within the striosomes. Cre recombinase-mediated deletion of CB1-Rs from cortical projection neurons or MSNs, and MSN-selective reintroduction of CB1-Rs in knockout mice, demonstrate that the principal source of CB1-Rs in dorsolateral striosomes is local MSN collaterals. These data suggest a role for CB1-Rs in caudal dorsolateral striosome collaterals and striosome-dendron bouquet projections to lateral substantia nigra, where they are anatomically poised to mediate presynaptic disinhibition of both striosomal MSNs and midbrain dopamine neurons in response to endocannabinoids and cannabinomimetics.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01-AR04239(United States)

Opposing expression gradients of calcitonin-related polypeptide alpha (Calca/Cgrpα) and tyrosine hydroxylase (Th) in type II afferent neurons of the mouse cochlea.

  • Wu JS
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Type II spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) are small caliber, unmyelinated afferents that extend dendritic arbors hundreds of microns along the cochlear spiral, contacting many outer hair cells (OHCs). Despite these many contacts, type II afferents are insensitive to sound and only weakly depolarized by glutamate release from OHCs. Recent studies suggest that type II afferents may be cochlear nociceptors, and can be excited by ATP released during tissue damage, by analogy to somatic pain-sensing C-fibers. The present work compares the expression patterns among cochlear type II afferents of two genes found in C-fibers: calcitonin-related polypeptide alpha (Calca/Cgrpα), specific to pain-sensing C-fibers, and tyrosine hydroxylase (Th), specific to low-threshold mechanoreceptive C-fibers, which was shown previously to be a selective biomarker of type II versus type I cochlear afferents (Vyas et al., ). Whole-mount cochlear preparations from 3-week- to 2-month-old CGRPα-EGFP (GENSAT) mice showed expression of Cgrpα in a subset of SGNs with type II-like peripheral dendrites extending beneath OHCs. Double labeling with other molecular markers confirmed that the labeled SGNs were neither type I SGNs nor olivocochlear efferents. Cgrpα starts to express in type II SGNs before hearing onset, but the expression level declines in the adult. The expression patterns of Cgrpα and Th formed opposing gradients, with Th being preferentially expressed in apical and Cgrpα in basal type II afferent neurons, indicating heterogeneity among type II afferent neurons. The expression of Th and Cgrpα was not mutually exclusive and co-expression could be observed, most abundantly in the middle cochlear turn.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC006476()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC011741()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC012957()

Myosin VI-Dependent Actin Cages Encapsulate Parkin-Positive Damaged Mitochondria.

  • Kruppa AJ
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 Feb 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mitochondrial quality control is essential to maintain cellular homeostasis and is achieved by removing damaged, ubiquitinated mitochondria via Parkin-mediated mitophagy. Here, we demonstrate that MYO6 (myosin VI), a unique myosin that moves toward the minus end of actin filaments, forms a complex with Parkin and is selectively recruited to damaged mitochondria via its ubiquitin-binding domain. This myosin motor initiates the assembly of F-actin cages to encapsulate damaged mitochondria by forming a physical barrier that prevents refusion with neighboring populations. Loss of MYO6 results in an accumulation of mitophagosomes and an increase in mitochondrial mass. In addition, we observe downstream mitochondrial dysfunction manifesting as reduced respiratory capacity and decreased ability to rely on oxidative phosphorylation for energy production. Our work uncovers a crucial step in mitochondrial quality control: the formation of MYO6-dependent actin cages that ensure isolation of damaged mitochondria from the network.

Funding information:
  • CIHR - 232519(Canada)

Tangential migration of corridor guidepost neurons contributes to anxiety circuits.

  • Tinterri A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

In mammals, thalamic axons are guided internally toward their neocortical target by corridor (Co) neurons that act as axonal guideposts. The existence of Co-like neurons in non-mammalian species, in which thalamic axons do not grow internally, raised the possibility that Co cells might have an ancestral role. Here, we investigated the contribution of corridor (Co) cells to mature brain circuits using a combination of genetic fate-mapping and assays in mice. We unexpectedly found that Co neurons contribute to striatal-like projection neurons in the central extended amygdala. In particular, Co-like neurons participate in specific nuclei of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, which plays essential roles in anxiety circuits. Our study shows that Co neurons possess an evolutionary conserved role in anxiety circuits independently from an acquired guidepost function. It furthermore highlights that neurons can have multiple sequential functions during brain wiring and supports a general role of tangential migration in the building of subpallial circuits.

Adult Neurogenesis Is Sustained by Symmetric Self-Renewal and Differentiation.

  • Obernier K
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Somatic stem cells have been identified in multiple adult tissues. Whether self-renewal occurs symmetrically or asymmetrically is key to understanding long-term stem cell maintenance and generation of progeny for cell replacement. In the adult mouse brain, neural stem cells (NSCs) (B1 cells) are retained in the walls of the lateral ventricles (ventricular-subventricular zone [V-SVZ]). The mechanism of B1 cell retention into adulthood for lifelong neurogenesis is unknown. Using multiple clonal labeling techniques, we show that the vast majority of B1 cells divide symmetrically. Whereas 20%-30% symmetrically self-renew and can remain in the niche for several months before generating neurons, 70%-80% undergo consuming divisions generating progeny, resulting in the depletion of B1 cells over time. This cellular mechanism decouples self-renewal from the generation of progeny. Limited rounds of symmetric self-renewal and consuming symmetric differentiation divisions can explain the levels of neurogenesis observed throughout life.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD032116()
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R37 HD032116()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - P50 GM081879()
  • NIH HHS - DP5 OD012194()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS028478()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01NS058529(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R37 NS028478()

The WAVE Regulatory Complex and Branched F-Actin Counterbalance Contractile Force to Control Cell Shape and Packing in the Drosophila Eye.

  • Del Signore SJ
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 Feb 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Contractile forces eliminate cell contacts in many morphogenetic processes. However, mechanisms that balance contractile forces to promote subtler remodeling remain unknown. To address this gap, we investigated remodeling of Drosophila eye lattice cells (LCs), which preserve cell contacts as they narrow to form the edges of a multicellular hexagonal lattice. We found that during narrowing, LC-LC contacts dynamically constrict and expand. Similar to other systems, actomyosin-based contractile forces promote pulses of constriction. Conversely, we found that WAVE-dependent branched F-actin accumulates at LC-LC contacts during expansion and functions to expand the cell apical area, promote shape changes, and prevent elimination of LC-LC contacts. Finally, we found that small Rho GTPases regulate the balance of contractile and protrusive dynamics. These data suggest a mechanism by which WAVE regulatory complex-based F-actin dynamics antagonize contractile forces to regulate cell shape and tissue topology during remodeling and thus contribute to the robustness and precision of the process.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI058279-05(United States)

Robo1 Forms a Compact Dimer-of-Dimers Assembly.

  • Aleksandrova N
  • Structure
  • 2018 Feb 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Roundabout (Robo) receptors provide an essential repulsive cue in neuronal development following Slit ligand binding. This important signaling pathway can also be hijacked in numerous cancers, making Slit-Robo an attractive therapeutic target. However, little is known about how Slit binding mediates Robo activation. Here we present the crystal structure of Robo1 Ig1-4 and Robo1 Ig5, together with a negative stain electron microscopy reconstruction of the Robo1 ectodomain. These results show how the Robo1 ectodomain is arranged as compact dimers, mainly mediated by the central Ig domains, which can further interact in a "back-to-back" fashion to generate a tetrameric assembly. We also observed no change in Robo1 oligomerization upon interaction with the dimeric Slit2-N ligand using fluorescent imaging. Taken together with previous studies we propose that Slit2-N binding results in a conformational change of Robo1 to trigger cell signaling.

Funding information:
  • National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars - 81525005(United States)
  • NIMH NIH HHS - U01 MH106013(United States)

Micropattern differentiation of mouse pluripotent stem cells recapitulates embryo regionalized cell fate patterning.

  • Morgani SM
  • Elife
  • 2018 Feb 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

During gastrulation epiblast cells exit pluripotency as they specify and spatially arrange the three germ layers of the embryo. Similarly, human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) undergo spatially organized fate specification on micropatterned surfaces. Since in vivo validation is not possible for the human, we developed a mouse PSC micropattern system and, with direct comparisons to mouse embryos, reveal the robust specification of distinct regional identities. BMP, WNT, ACTIVIN and FGF directed mouse epiblast-like cells to undergo an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and radially pattern posterior mesoderm fates. Conversely, WNT, ACTIVIN and FGF patterned anterior identities, including definitive endoderm. By contrast, epiblast stem cells, a developmentally advanced state, only specified anterior identities, but without patterning. The mouse micropattern system offers a robust scalable method to generate regionalized cell types present in vivo, resolve how signals promote distinct identities and generate patterns, and compare mechanisms operating in vivo and in vitro and across species.

Funding information:
  • Cancer Research UK - 06-914/915(United Kingdom)
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development - R01HD080699()
  • National Cancer Institute - P30CA008748()
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - R01DK084391()
  • National Science Foundation - PHY1502151()
  • NYSTEM - C029568()

Spatially resolved RNA-sequencing of the embryonic heart identifies a role for Wnt/β-catenin signaling in autonomic control of heart rate.

  • Burkhard SB
  • Elife
  • 2018 Feb 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Development of specialized cells and structures in the heart is regulated by spatially -restricted molecular pathways. Disruptions in these pathways can cause severe congenital cardiac malformations or functional defects. To better understand these pathways and how they regulate cardiac development we used tomo-seq, combining high-throughput RNA-sequencing with tissue-sectioning, to establish a genome-wide expression dataset with high spatial resolution for the developing zebrafish heart. Analysis of the dataset revealed over 1100 genes differentially expressed in sub-compartments. Pacemaker cells in the sinoatrial region induce heart contractions, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying their development. Using our transcriptome map, we identified spatially restricted Wnt/β-catenin signaling activity in pacemaker cells, which was controlled by Islet-1 activity. Moreover, Wnt/β-catenin signaling controls heart rate by regulating pacemaker cellular response to parasympathetic stimuli. Thus, this high-resolution transcriptome map incorporating all cell types in the embryonic heart can expose spatially restricted molecular pathways critical for specific cardiac functions.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - K99 MH104259(United States)

Myocardial Polyploidization Creates a Barrier to Heart Regeneration in Zebrafish.

  • González-Rosa JM
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 Feb 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Correlative evidence suggests that polyploidization of heart muscle, which occurs naturally in post-natal mammals, creates a barrier to heart regeneration. Here, we move beyond a correlation by demonstrating that experimental polyploidization of zebrafish cardiomyocytes is sufficient to suppress their proliferative potential during regeneration. Initially, we determined that zebrafish myocardium becomes susceptible to polyploidization upon transient cytokinesis inhibition mediated by dominant-negative Ect2. Using a transgenic strategy, we generated adult animals containing mosaic hearts composed of differentially labeled diploid and polyploid-enriched cardiomyocyte populations. Diploid cardiomyocytes outcompeted their polyploid neighbors in producing regenerated heart muscle. Moreover, hearts composed of equivalent proportions of diploid and polyploid cardiomyocytes failed to regenerate altogether, demonstrating that a critical percentage of diploid cardiomyocytes is required to achieve heart regeneration. Our data identify cardiomyocyte polyploidization as a barrier to heart regeneration and suggest that mobilizing rare diploid cardiomyocytes in the human heart will improve its regenerative capacity.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - (Canada)
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL127067()

Selective Pharmacogenetic Activation of Catecholamine Subgroups in the Ventrolateral Medulla Elicits Key Glucoregulatory Responses.

  • Li AJ
  • Endocrinology
  • 2018 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Catecholamine (CA) neurons in the ventrolateral medulla (VLM) contribute importantly to glucoregulation during glucose deficit. However, it is not known which CA neurons elicit different glucoregulatory responses or whether selective activation of CA neurons is sufficient to elicit these responses. Therefore, to selectively activate CA subpopulations, we injected male or female Th-Cre+ transgenic rats with the Cre-dependent DREADD construct, AAV2-DIO-hSyn-hM3D(Gq)-mCherry, at one of four rostrocaudal levels of the VLM: rostral C1 (C1r), middle C1 (C1m), the area of A1 and C1 overlap (A1/C1), and A1. Transfection was highly selective for CA neurons at each site. Systemic injection of the Designer Receptor Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADD) receptor agonist, clozapine-N-oxide (CNO), stimulated feeding in rats transfected at C1r, C1m, or A1/C1 but not A1. CNO increased corticosterone secretion in rats transfected at C1m or A1/C1 but not A1. In contrast, CNO did not increase blood glucose or induce c-Fos expression in the spinal cord or adrenal medulla after transfection of any single VLM site but required dual transfection of both C1m and C1r, possibly indicating that CA neurons mediating blood glucose responses are more sparsely distributed in C1r and C1m than those mediating feeding and corticosterone secretion. These results show that selective activation of C1 CA neurons is sufficient to increase feeding, blood glucose levels, and corticosterone secretion and suggest that each of these responses is mediated by CA neurons concentrated at different levels of the C1 cell group.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - (Canada)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK040498(United States)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK051496(United States)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK097437(United States)

Sonic Hedgehog Is a Remotely Produced Cue that Controls Axon Guidance Trans-axonally at a Midline Choice Point.

  • Peng J
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Jan 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

At the optic chiasm choice point, ipsilateral retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are repelled away from the midline by guidance cues, including Ephrin-B2 and Sonic Hedgehog (Shh). Although guidance cues are normally produced by cells residing at the choice point, the mRNA for Shh is not found at the optic chiasm. Here we show that Shh protein is instead produced by contralateral RGCs at the retina, transported anterogradely along the axon, and accumulates at the optic chiasm to repel ipsilateral RGCs. In vitro, contralateral RGC axons, which secrete Shh, repel ipsilateral RGCs in a Boc- and Smo-dependent manner. Finally, knockdown of Shh in the contralateral retina causes a decrease in the proportion of ipsilateral RGCs in a non-cell-autonomous manner. These findings reveal a role for axon-axon interactions in ipsilateral RGC guidance, and they establish that remotely produced cues can act at axon guidance midline choice points.

Radial Glial Fibers Promote Neuronal Migration and Functional Recovery after Neonatal Brain Injury.

  • Jinnou H
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 Jan 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Radial glia (RG) are embryonic neural stem cells (NSCs) that produce neuroblasts and provide fibers that act as a scaffold for neuroblast migration during embryonic development. Although they normally disappear soon after birth, here we found that RG fibers can persist in injured neonatal mouse brains and act as a scaffold for postnatal ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ)-derived neuroblasts that migrate to the lesion site. This injury-induced maintenance of RG fibers has a limited time window during post-natal development and promotes directional saltatory movement of neuroblasts via N-cadherin-mediated cell-cell contacts that promote RhoA activation. Transplanting an N-cadherin-containing scaffold into injured neonatal brains likewise promotes migration and maturation of V-SVZ-derived neuroblasts, leading to functional improvements in impaired gait behaviors. Together these results suggest that RG fibers enable postnatal V-SVZ-derived neuroblasts to migrate toward sites of injury, thereby enhancing neuronal regeneration and functional recovery from neonatal brain injuries.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK082659(United States)

Neuropeptide Y Regulates Sleep by Modulating Noradrenergic Signaling.

  • Singh C
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Dec 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Sleep is an essential and evolutionarily conserved behavioral state whose regulation remains poorly understood. To identify genes that regulate vertebrate sleep, we recently performed a genetic screen in zebrafish, and here we report the identification of neuropeptide Y (NPY) as both necessary for normal daytime sleep duration and sufficient to promote sleep. We show that overexpression of NPY increases sleep, whereas mutation of npy or ablation of npy-expressing neurons decreases sleep. By analyzing sleep architecture, we show that NPY regulates sleep primarily by modulating the length of wake bouts. To determine how NPY regulates sleep, we tested for interactions with several systems known to regulate sleep, and provide anatomical, molecular, genetic, and pharmacological evidence that NPY promotes sleep by inhibiting noradrenergic signaling. These data establish NPY as an important vertebrate sleep/wake regulator and link NPY signaling to an established arousal-promoting system.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM 080571(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS070911()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS095824()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS101158()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS101665()

RORβ Spinal Interneurons Gate Sensory Transmission during Locomotion to Secure a Fluid Walking Gait.

  • Koch SC
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Animals depend on sensory feedback from mechanosensory afferents for the dynamic control of movement. This sensory feedback needs to be selectively modulated in a task- and context-dependent manner. Here, we show that inhibitory interneurons (INs) expressing the RORβ orphan nuclear receptor gate sensory feedback to the spinal motor system during walking and are required for the production of a fluid locomotor rhythm. Genetic manipulations that abrogate inhibitory RORβ IN function result in an ataxic gait characterized by exaggerated flexion movements and marked alterations to the step cycle. Inactivation of RORβ in inhibitory neurons leads to reduced presynaptic inhibition and changes to sensory-evoked reflexes, arguing that the RORβ inhibitory INs function to suppress the sensory transmission pathways that activate flexor motor reflexes and interfere with the ongoing locomotor program. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - AG021495(Canada)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS080586()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS086372()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS090919()

A map of sensilla and neurons in the taste system of drosophila larvae.

  • Rist A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

In Drosophila melanogaster larvae, the prime site of external taste reception is the terminal organ (TO). Though investigation on the TO's implications in taste perception has been expanding rapidly, the sensilla of the TO have been essentially unexplored. In this study, we performed a systematic anatomical and molecular analysis of the TO. We precisely define morphological types of TO sensilla taking advantage of volume electron microscopy and 3D image analysis. We corroborate the presence of five external types of sensilla: papilla, pit, spot, knob, and modified papilla. Detailed 3D analysis of their structural organization allowed a finer discrimination into subtypes. We classify three subtypes of papilla and pit sensilla, respectively, and two subtypes of knob sensilla. Further, we determine the repertoire of receptor genes for each sensillum by analyzing GAL4 driver lines of Ir, Gr, Ppk, and Trp receptor genes. We construct a map of the TO, in which the receptor genes are mapped to neurons of individual sensilla. While modified papillum and spot sensilla are not labeled by any GAL4 driver, neurons of the pit, papilla, and knob type are labeled by partially overlapping but different subsets of GAL4 driver lines of the Ir, Gr, and Ppk gene family. The results suggest that pit, papilla and knob sensilla act in contact chemosensation. However, they likely do these employing different stimulus transduction mechanisms to sense the diverse chemicals of their environment.

Classifying Drosophila Olfactory Projection Neuron Subtypes by Single-Cell RNA Sequencing.

  • Li H
  • Cell
  • 2017 Nov 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

The definition of neuronal type and how it relates to the transcriptome are open questions. Drosophila olfactory projection neurons (PNs) are among the best-characterized neuronal types: different PN classes target dendrites to distinct olfactory glomeruli, while PNs of the same class exhibit indistinguishable anatomical and physiological properties. Using single-cell RNA sequencing, we comprehensively characterized the transcriptomes of most PN classes and unequivocally mapped transcriptomes to specific olfactory function for six classes. Transcriptomes of closely related PN classes exhibit the largest differences during circuit assembly but become indistinguishable in adults, suggesting that neuronal subtype diversity peaks during development. Transcription factors and cell-surface molecules are the most differentially expressed genes between classes and are highly informative in encoding cell identity, enabling us to identify a new lineage-specific transcription factor that instructs PN dendrite targeting. These findings establish that neuronal transcriptomic identity corresponds with anatomical and physiological identity defined by connectivity and function.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R37 MH049428(United States)

Life-Long Neurogenic Activity of Individual Neural Stem Cells and Continuous Growth Establish an Outside-In Architecture in the Teleost Pallium.

  • Furlan G
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Nov 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Spatiotemporal variations of neurogenesis are thought to account for the evolution of brain shape. In the dorsal telencephalon (pallium) of vertebrates, it remains unresolved which ancestral neurogenesis mode prefigures the highly divergent cytoarchitectures that are seen in extant species. To gain insight into this question, we developed genetic tools to generate here the first 4-dimensional (3D + birthdating time) map of pallium construction in the adult teleost zebrafish. Using a Tet-On-based genetic birthdating strategy, we identify a "sequential stacking" construction mode where neurons derived from the zebrafish pallial germinal zone arrange in outside-in, age-related layers from a central core generated during embryogenesis. We obtained no evidence for overt radial or tangential neuronal migrations. Cre-lox-mediated tracing, which included following Brainbow clones, further demonstrates that this process is sustained by the persistent neurogenic activity of individual pallial neural stem cells (NSCs) from embryo to adult. Together, these data demonstrate that the spatiotemporal control of NSC activity is an important driver of the macroarchitecture of the zebrafish adult pallium. This simple mode of pallium construction shares distinct traits with pallial genesis in mammals and non-mammalian amniotes such as birds or reptiles, suggesting that it may exemplify the basal layout from which vertebrate pallial architectures were elaborated.

Characterization of NvLWamide-like neurons reveals stereotypy in Nematostella nerve net development.

  • Havrilak JA
  • Dev. Biol.
  • 2017 Nov 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The organization of cnidarian nerve nets is traditionally described as diffuse with randomly arranged neurites that show minimal reproducibility between animals. However, most observations of nerve nets are conducted using cross-reactive antibodies that broadly label neurons, which potentially masks stereotyped patterns produced by individual neuronal subtypes. Additionally, many cnidarians species have overt structures such as a nerve ring, suggesting higher levels of organization and stereotypy exist, but mechanisms that generated that stereotypy are unknown. We previously demonstrated that NvLWamide-like is expressed in a small subset of the Nematostella nerve net and speculated that observing a few neurons within the developing nerve net would provide a better indication of potential stereotypy. Here we document NvLWamide-like expression more systematically. NvLWamide-like is initially expressed in the typical neurogenic salt and pepper pattern within the ectoderm at the gastrula stage, and expression expands to include endodermal salt and pepper expression at the planula larval stage. Expression persists in both ectoderm and endoderm in adults. We characterized our NvLWamide-like::mCherry transgenic reporter line to visualize neural architecture and found that NvLWamide-like is expressed in six neural subtypes identifiable by neural morphology and location. Upon completing development the numbers of neurons in each neural subtype are minimally variable between animals and the projection patterns of each subtype are consistent. Furthermore, between the juvenile polyp and adult stages the number of neurons for each subtype increases. We conclude that development of the Nematostella nerve net is stereotyped between individuals. Our data also imply that one aspect of generating adult cnidarian nervous systems is to modify the basic structural architecture generated in the juvenile by increasing neural number proportionally with size.

Sparse genetic tracing reveals regionally specific functional organization of mammalian nociceptors.

  • Olson W
  • Elife
  • 2017 Oct 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The human distal limbs have a high spatial acuity for noxious stimuli but a low density of pain-sensing neurites. To elucidate mechanisms underlying regional differences in processing nociception, we sparsely traced non-peptidergic nociceptors across the body using a newly generated MrgprdCreERT2 mouse line. We found that mouse plantar paw skin is also innervated by a low density of Mrgprd+ nociceptors, while individual arbors in different locations are comparable in size. Surprisingly, the central arbors of plantar paw and trunk innervating nociceptors have distinct morphologies in the spinal cord. This regional difference is well correlated with a heightened signal transmission for plantar paw circuits, as revealed by both spinal cord slice recordings and behavior assays. Taken together, our results elucidate a novel somatotopic functional organization of the mammalian pain system and suggest that regional central arbor structure could facilitate the "enlarged representation" of plantar paw regions in the CNS.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - K12 GM081259()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F31 NS092297()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS083702()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS094224()

Sleep homeostasis regulated by 5HT2b receptor in a small subset of neurons in the dorsal fan-shaped body of drosophila.

  • Qian Y
  • Elife
  • 2017 Oct 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying sleep homeostasis is limited. We have taken a systematic approach to study neural signaling by the transmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in drosophila. We have generated knockout and knockin lines for Trh, the 5-HT synthesizing enzyme and all five 5-HT receptors, making it possible for us to determine their expression patterns and to investigate their functional roles. Loss of the Trh, 5HT1a or 5HT2b gene decreased sleep time whereas loss of the Trh or 5HT2b gene diminished sleep rebound after sleep deprivation. 5HT2b expression in a small subset of, probably a single pair of, neurons in the dorsal fan-shaped body (dFB) is functionally essential: elimination of the 5HT2b gene from these neurons led to loss of sleep homeostasis. Genetic ablation of 5HT2b neurons in the dFB decreased sleep and impaired sleep homeostasis. Our results have shown that serotonergic signaling in specific neurons is required for the regulation of sleep homeostasis.

Striatal adenosine A2A receptor neurons control active-period sleep via parvalbumin neurons in external globus pallidus.

  • Yuan XS
  • Elife
  • 2017 Oct 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Dysfunction of the striatum is frequently associated with sleep disturbances. However, its role in sleep-wake regulation has been paid little attention even though the striatum densely expresses adenosine A2A receptors (A2ARs), which are essential for adenosine-induced sleep. Here we showed that chemogenetic activation of A2AR neurons in specific subregions of the striatum induced a remarkable increase in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Anatomical mapping and immunoelectron microscopy revealed that striatal A2AR neurons innervated the external globus pallidus (GPe) in a topographically organized manner and preferentially formed inhibitory synapses with GPe parvalbumin (PV) neurons. Moreover, lesions of GPe PV neurons abolished the sleep-promoting effect of striatal A2AR neurons. In addition, chemogenetic inhibition of striatal A2AR neurons led to a significant decrease of NREM sleep at active period, but not inactive period of mice. These findings reveal a prominent contribution of striatal A2AR neuron/GPe PV neuron circuit in sleep control.

Sonic Hedgehog switches on Wnt/planar cell polarity signaling in commissural axon growth cones by reducing levels of Shisa2.

  • Onishi K
  • Elife
  • 2017 Sep 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Commissural axons switch on responsiveness to Wnt attraction during midline crossing and turn anteriorly only after exiting the floor plate. We report here that Sonic Hedgehog (Shh)-Smoothened signaling downregulates Shisa2, which inhibits the glycosylation and cell surface presentation of Frizzled3 in rodent commissural axon growth cones. Constitutive Shisa2 expression causes randomized turning of post-crossing commissural axons along the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis. Loss of Shisa2 led to precocious anterior turning of commissural axons before or during midline crossing. Post-crossing commissural axon turning is completely randomized along the A-P axis when Wntless, which is essential for Wnt secretion, is conditionally knocked out in the floor plate. This regulatory link between Shh and planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling may also occur in other developmental processes.

Restraint of presynaptic protein levels by Wnd/DLK signaling mediates synaptic defects associated with the kinesin-3 motor Unc-104.

  • Li J
  • Elife
  • 2017 Sep 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

The kinesin-3 family member Unc-104/KIF1A is required for axonal transport of many presynaptic components to synapses, and mutation of this gene results in synaptic dysfunction in mice, flies and worms. Our studies at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction indicate that many synaptic defects in unc-104-null mutants are mediated independently of Unc-104's transport function, via the Wallenda (Wnd)/DLK MAP kinase axonal damage signaling pathway. Wnd signaling becomes activated when Unc-104's function is disrupted, and leads to impairment of synaptic structure and function by restraining the expression level of active zone (AZ) and synaptic vesicle (SV) components. This action concomitantly suppresses the buildup of synaptic proteins in neuronal cell bodies, hence may play an adaptive role to stresses that impair axonal transport. Wnd signaling also becomes activated when pre-synaptic proteins are over-expressed, suggesting the existence of a feedback circuit to match synaptic protein levels to the transport capacity of the axon.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R37 MH063105(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS069844()

Cerebral Vein Malformations Result from Loss of Twist1 Expression and BMP Signaling from Skull Progenitor Cells and Dura.

  • Tischfield MA
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Sep 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Dural cerebral veins (CV) are required for cerebrospinal fluid reabsorption and brain homeostasis, but mechanisms that regulate their growth and remodeling are unknown. We report molecular and cellular processes that regulate dural CV development in mammals and describe venous malformations in humans with craniosynostosis and TWIST1 mutations that are recapitulated in mouse models. Surprisingly, Twist1 is dispensable in endothelial cells but required for specification of osteoprogenitor cells that differentiate into preosteoblasts that produce bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). Inactivation of Bmp2 and Bmp4 in preosteoblasts and periosteal dura causes skull and CV malformations, similar to humans harboring TWIST1 mutations. Notably, arterial development appears normal, suggesting that morphogens from the skull and dura establish optimal venous networks independent from arterial influences. Collectively, our work establishes a paradigm whereby CV malformations result from primary or secondary loss of paracrine BMP signaling from preosteoblasts and dura, highlighting unique cellular interactions that influence tissue-specific angiogenesis in mammals.

Direct Midbrain Dopamine Input to the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus Accelerates Circadian Entrainment.

  • Grippo RM
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Aug 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Dopamine (DA) neurotransmission controls behaviors important for survival, including voluntary movement, reward processing, and detection of salient events, such as food or mate availability. Dopaminergic tone also influences circadian physiology and behavior. Although the evolutionary significance of this input is appreciated, its precise neurophysiological architecture remains unknown. Here, we identify a novel, direct connection between the DA neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). We demonstrate that D1 dopamine receptor (Drd1) signaling within the SCN is necessary for properly timed resynchronization of activity rhythms to phase-shifted light:dark cycles and that elevation of DA tone through selective activation of VTA DA neurons accelerates photoentrainment. Our findings demonstrate a previously unappreciated role for direct DA input to the master circadian clock and highlight the importance of an evolutionarily significant relationship between the circadian system and the neuromodulatory circuits that govern motivational behaviors.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM121937()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH104450()

A synthetic planar cell polarity system reveals localized feedback on Fat4-Ds1 complexes.

  • Loza O
  • Elife
  • 2017 Aug 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

The atypical cadherins Fat and Dachsous (Ds) have been found to underlie planar cell polarity (PCP) in many tissues. Theoretical models suggest that polarity can arise from localized feedbacks on Fat-Ds complexes at the cell boundary. However, there is currently no direct evidence for the existence or mechanism of such feedbacks. To directly test the localized feedback model, we developed a synthetic biology platform based on mammalian cells expressing the human Fat4 and Ds1. We show that Fat4-Ds1 complexes accumulate on cell boundaries in a threshold-like manner and exhibit dramatically slower dynamics than unbound Fat4 and Ds1. This suggests a localized feedback mechanism based on enhanced stability of Fat4-Ds1 complexes. We also show that co-expression of Fat4 and Ds1 in the same cells is sufficient to induce polarization of Fat4-Ds1 complexes. Together, these results provide direct evidence that localized feedbacks on Fat4-Ds1 complexes can give rise to PCP.

A Circuit Node that Integrates Convergent Input from Neuromodulatory and Social Behavior-Promoting Neurons to Control Aggression in Drosophila.

  • Watanabe K
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Diffuse neuromodulatory systems such as norepinephrine (NE) control brain-wide states such as arousal, but whether they control complex social behaviors more specifically is not clear. Octopamine (OA), the insect homolog of NE, is known to promote both arousal and aggression. We have performed a systematic, unbiased screen to identify OA receptor-expressing neurons (OARNs) that control aggression in Drosophila. Our results uncover a tiny population of male-specific aSP2 neurons that mediate a specific influence of OA on aggression, independent of any effect on arousal. Unexpectedly, these neurons receive convergent input from OA neurons and P1 neurons, a population of FruM+ neurons that promotes male courtship behavior. Behavioral epistasis experiments suggest that aSP2 neurons may constitute an integration node at which OAergic neuromodulation can bias the output of P1 neurons to favor aggression over inter-male courtship. These results have potential implications for thinking about the role of related neuromodulatory systems in mammals.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH084020(United States)

Neuronal Depolarization Drives Increased Dopamine Synaptic Vesicle Loading via VGLUT.

  • Aguilar JI
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

The ability of presynaptic dopamine terminals to tune neurotransmitter release to meet the demands of neuronal activity is critical to neurotransmission. Although vesicle content has been assumed to be static, in vitro data increasingly suggest that cell activity modulates vesicle content. Here, we use a coordinated genetic, pharmacological, and imaging approach in Drosophila to study the presynaptic machinery responsible for these vesicular processes in vivo. We show that cell depolarization increases synaptic vesicle dopamine content prior to release via vesicular hyperacidification. This depolarization-induced hyperacidification is mediated by the vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT). Remarkably, both depolarization-induced dopamine vesicle hyperacidification and its dependence on VGLUT2 are seen in ventral midbrain dopamine neurons in the mouse. Together, these data suggest that in response to depolarization, dopamine vesicles utilize a cascade of vesicular transporters to dynamically increase the vesicular pH gradient, thereby increasing dopamine vesicle content.

A Hypothalamic Phosphatase Switch Coordinates Energy Expenditure with Feeding.

  • Dodd GT
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2017 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Beige adipocytes can interconvert between white and brown-like states and switch between energy storage versus expenditure. Here we report that beige adipocyte plasticity is important for feeding-associated changes in energy expenditure and is coordinated by the hypothalamus and the phosphatase TCPTP. A fasting-induced and glucocorticoid-mediated induction of TCPTP, inhibited insulin signaling in AgRP/NPY neurons, repressed the browning of white fat and decreased energy expenditure. Conversely feeding reduced hypothalamic TCPTP, to increase AgRP/NPY neuronal insulin signaling, white adipose tissue browning and energy expenditure. The feeding-induced repression of hypothalamic TCPTP was defective in obesity. Mice lacking TCPTP in AgRP/NPY neurons were resistant to diet-induced obesity and had increased beige fat activity and energy expenditure. The deletion of hypothalamic TCPTP in obesity restored feeding-induced browning and increased energy expenditure to promote weight loss. Our studies define a hypothalamic switch that coordinates energy expenditure with feeding for the maintenance of energy balance.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY017097(United States)

Satb1 Regulates Contactin 5 to Pattern Dendrites of a Mammalian Retinal Ganglion Cell.

  • Peng YR
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

The size and shape of dendritic arbors are prime determinants of neuronal connectivity and function. We asked how ON-OFF direction-selective ganglion cells (ooDSGCs) in mouse retina acquire their bistratified dendrites, in which responses to light onset and light offset are segregated to distinct strata. We found that the transcriptional regulator Satb1 is selectively expressed by ooDSGCs. In Satb1 mutant mice, ooDSGC dendrites lack ON arbors, and the cells selectively lose ON responses. Satb1 regulates expression of a homophilic adhesion molecule, Contactin 5 (Cntn5). Both Cntn5 and its co-receptor Caspr4 are expressed not only by ooDSGCs, but also by interneurons that form a scaffold on which ooDSGC ON dendrites fasciculate. Removing Cntn5 from either ooDSGCs or interneurons partially phenocopies Satb1 mutants, demonstrating that Satb1-dependent Cntn5 expression in ooDSGCs leads to branch-specific homophilic interactions with interneurons. Thus, Satb1 directs formation of a morphologically and functionally specialized compartment within a complex dendritic arbor.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY022073()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R37 NS029169()

Activity-Dependent Gating of Parvalbumin Interneuron Function by the Perineuronal Net Protein Brevican.

  • Favuzzi E
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Activity-dependent neuronal plasticity is a fundamental mechanism through which the nervous system adapts to sensory experience. Several lines of evidence suggest that parvalbumin (PV+) interneurons are essential in this process, but the molecular mechanisms underlying the influence of experience on interneuron plasticity remain poorly understood. Perineuronal nets (PNNs) enwrapping PV+ cells are long-standing candidates for playing such a role, yet their precise contribution has remained elusive. We show that the PNN protein Brevican is a critical regulator of interneuron plasticity. We find that Brevican simultaneously controls cellular and synaptic forms of plasticity in PV+ cells by regulating the localization of potassium channels and AMPA receptors, respectively. By modulating Brevican levels, experience introduces precise molecular and cellular modifications in PV+ cells that are required for learning and memory. These findings uncover a molecular program through which a PNN protein facilitates appropriate behavioral responses to experience by dynamically gating PV+ interneuron function.

Ryk controls remapping of motor cortex during functional recovery after spinal cord injury.

  • Hollis ER
  • Nat. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Aug 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

Limited functional recovery can be achieved through rehabilitation after incomplete spinal cord injury. Eliminating the function of a repulsive Wnt receptor, Ryk, in mice and rats by either conditional knockout in the motor cortex or monoclonal antibody infusion resulted in increased corticospinal axon collateral branches with presynaptic puncta in the spinal cord and enhanced recovery of forelimb reaching and grasping function following a cervical dorsal column lesion. Using optical stimulation, we observed that motor cortical output maps underwent massive changes after injury and that hindlimb cortical areas were recruited to control the forelimb over time. Furthermore, a greater cortical area was dedicated to controlling the forelimb in Ryk conditional knockout mice than in controls (wild-type or heterozygotes). In the absence of weekly task-specific training, recruitment of ectopic cortical areas was greatly reduced and there was no significant functional recovery even in Ryk conditional knockout mice. Our study provides evidence that maximal circuit reorganization and functional recovery can be achieved by combining molecular manipulation and targeted rehabilitation.

Distinct Ventral Pallidal Neural Populations Mediate Separate Symptoms of Depression.

  • Knowland D
  • Cell
  • 2017 Jul 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Major depressive disorder (MDD) patients display a common but often variable set of symptoms making successful, sustained treatment difficult to achieve. Separate depressive symptoms may be encoded by differential changes in distinct circuits in the brain, yet how discrete circuits underlie behavioral subsets of depression and how they adapt in response to stress has not been addressed. We identify two discrete circuits of parvalbumin-positive (PV) neurons in the ventral pallidum (VP) projecting to either the lateral habenula or ventral tegmental area contributing to depression. We find that these populations undergo different electrophysiological adaptations in response to social defeat stress, which are normalized by antidepressant treatment. Furthermore, manipulation of each population mediates either social withdrawal or behavioral despair, but not both. We propose that distinct components of the VP PV circuit can subserve related, yet separate depressive-like phenotypes in mice, which could ultimately provide a platform for symptom-specific treatments of depression.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH107742()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH108594()

The role of ghrelin-responsive mediobasal hypothalamic neurons in mediating feeding responses to fasting.

  • Mani BK
  • Mol Metab
  • 2017 Jul 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: Ghrelin is a stomach-derived hormone that affects food intake and regulates blood glucose. The best-characterized actions of ghrelin are mediated by its binding to and activation of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR; ghrelin receptor). Adequate examination of the identity, function, and relevance of specific subsets of GHSR-expressing neurons has been hampered by the absence of a suitable Cre recombinase (Cre)-expressing mouse line with which to manipulate gene expression in a targeted fashion within GHSR-expressing neurons. The present study aims to characterize the functional significance and neurocircuitry of GHSR-expressing neurons in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH), as they relate to ghrelin-induced food intake and fasting-associated rebound hyperphagia, using a novel mouse line in which Cre expression is controlled by the Ghsr promoter. METHODS: A Ghsr-IRES-Cre mouse line that expresses Cre directed by the Ghsr promoter was generated. The line was validated by comparing Cre activity in reporter mice to the known brain distribution pattern of GHSR. Next, the requirement of MBH GHSR-expressing neuronal activity in mediating food intake in response to administered ghrelin and in response to fasting was assessed after stereotaxic delivery of inhibitory designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) virus to the MBH. In a separate cohort of Ghsr-IRES-Cre mice, stereotaxic delivery of stimulatory DREADD virus to the MBH was performed to assess the sufficiency of MBH GHSR-expressing neuronal activity on food intake. Finally, the distribution of MBH GHSR-expressing neuronal axonal projections was assessed in the DREADD virus-injected animals. RESULTS: The pattern of Cre activity in the Ghsr-IRES-Cre mouse line mostly faithfully reproduced the known GHSR expression pattern. DREADD-assisted inhibition of MBH GHSR neuronal activity robustly suppressed the normal orexigenic response to ghrelin and fasting-associated rebound food intake. DREADD-assisted stimulation of MBH GHSR neuronal activity was sufficient to induce food intake. Axonal projections of GHSR-expressing MBH neurons were observed in a subset of hypothalamic and extra-hypothalamic regions. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that 1) activation of GHSR-expressing neurons in the MBH is required for the normal feeding responses following both peripheral administration of ghrelin and fasting, 2) activation of MBH GHSR-expressing neurons is sufficient to induce feeding, and 3) axonal projections to a subset of hypothalamic and/or extra-hypothalamic regions likely mediate these responses. The Ghsr-IRES-Cre line should serve as a valuable tool to further our understanding of the functional significance of ghrelin-responsive/GHSR-expressing neurons and the neuronal circuitry within which they act.

Barrington's nucleus: Neuroanatomic landscape of the mouse "pontine micturition center".

  • Verstegen AMJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Barrington's nucleus (Bar) is thought to contain neurons that trigger voiding and thereby function as the "pontine micturition center." Lacking detailed information on this region in mice, we examined gene and protein markers to characterize Bar and the neurons surrounding it. Like rats and cats, mice have an ovoid core of medium-sized Bar neurons located medial to the locus coeruleus (LC). Bar neurons express a GFP reporter for Vglut2, develop from a Math1/Atoh1 lineage, and exhibit immunoreactivity for NeuN. Many neurons in and around this core cluster express a reporter for corticotrophin-releasing hormone (BarCRH ). Axons from BarCRH neurons project to the lumbosacral spinal cord and ramify extensively in two regions: the dorsal gray commissural and intermediolateral nuclei. BarCRH neurons have unexpectedly long dendrites, which may receive synaptic input from the cerebral cortex and other brain regions beyond the core afferents identified previously. Finally, at least five populations of neurons surround Bar: rostral-dorsomedial cholinergic neurons in the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus; lateral noradrenergic neurons in the LC; medial GABAergic neurons in the pontine central gray; ventromedial, small GABAergic neurons that express FoxP2; and dorsolateral glutamatergic neurons that express FoxP2 in the pLC and form a wedge dividing Bar from the dorsal LC. We discuss the implications of this new information for interpreting existing data and future experiments targeting BarCRH neurons and their synaptic afferents to study micturition and other pelvic functions.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - T32 HL007901()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P20 DK103086()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK113030()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R25 NS070682()

Kölliker-Fuse GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons project to distinct targets.

  • Geerling JC
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Kölliker-Fuse nucleus (KF) is known primarily for its respiratory function as the "pneumotaxic center" or "pontine respiratory group." Considered part of the parabrachial (PB) complex, KF contains glutamatergic neurons that project to respiratory-related targets in the medulla and spinal cord (Yokota, Oka, Tsumori, Nakamura, & Yasui, 2007). Here we describe an unexpected population of neurons in the caudal KF and adjacent lateral crescent subnucleus (PBlc), which are γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic and have an entirely different pattern of projections than glutamatergic KF neurons. First, immunofluorescence, in situ hybridization, and Cre-reporter labeling revealed that many of these GABAergic neurons express FoxP2 in both rats and mice. Next, using Cre-dependent axonal tracing in Vgat-IRES-Cre and Vglut2-IRES-Cre mice, we identified different projection patterns from GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons in this region. GABAergic neurons in KF and PBlc project heavily and almost exclusively to trigeminal sensory nuclei, with minimal projections to cardiorespiratory nuclei in the brainstem, and none to the spinal cord. In contrast, glutamatergic KF neurons project heavily to the autonomic, respiratory, and motor regions of the medulla and spinal cord previously identified as efferent targets mediating KF cardiorespiratory effects. These findings identify a novel, GABAergic subpopulation of KF/PB neurons with a distinct efferent projection pattern targeting the brainstem trigeminal sensory system. Rather than regulating breathing, we propose that these neurons influence vibrissal sensorimotor function.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - P01 HL095491()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - T32 HL007901()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - K08 NS099425()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R25 NS070682()

Short-Term Depression of Sprouted Mossy Fiber Synapses from Adult-Born Granule Cells.

  • Hendricks WD
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Jun 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Epileptic seizures potently modulate hippocampal adult neurogenesis, and adult-born dentate granule cells contribute to the pathologic retrograde sprouting of mossy fiber axons, both hallmarks of temporal lobe epilepsy. The characteristics of these sprouted synapses, however, have been largely unexplored, and the specific contribution of adult-born granule cells to functional mossy fiber sprouting is unknown, primarily due to technical barriers in isolating sprouted mossy fiber synapses for analysis. Here, we used DcxCreERT2 transgenic mice to permanently pulse-label age-defined cohorts of granule cells born either before or after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE). Using optogenetics, we demonstrate that adult-born granule cells born before SE form functional recurrent monosynaptic excitatory connections with other granule cells. Surprisingly, however, although healthy mossy fiber synapses in CA3 are well characterized "detonator" synapses that potently drive postsynaptic cell firing through their profound frequency-dependent facilitation, sprouted mossy fiber synapses from adult-born cells exhibited profound frequency-dependent depression, despite possessing some of the morphological hallmarks of mossy fiber terminals. Mature granule cells also contributed to functional mossy fiber sprouting, but exhibited less synaptic depression. Interestingly, granule cells born shortly after SE did not form functional excitatory synapses, despite robust sprouting. Our results suggest that, although sprouted mossy fibers form recurrent excitatory circuits with some of the morphological characteristics of typical mossy fiber terminals, the functional characteristics of sprouted synapses would limit the contribution of adult-born granule cells to hippocampal hyperexcitability in the epileptic hippocampus.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In the hippocampal dentate gyrus, seizures drive retrograde sprouting of granule cell mossy fiber axons. We directly activated sprouted mossy fiber synapses from adult-born granule cells to study their synaptic properties. We reveal that sprouted synapses from adult-born granule cells have a diminished ability to sustain recurrent excitation in the epileptic hippocampus, which raises questions about the role of sprouting and adult neurogenesis in sustaining seizure-like activity.

Funding information:
  • BLRD VA - I01 BX002949()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F31 NS098597()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS061800()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS080979()

Feature Integration Drives Probabilistic Behavior in the Drosophila Escape Response.

  • von Reyn CR
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Jun 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Animals rely on dedicated sensory circuits to extract and encode environmental features. How individual neurons integrate and translate these features into behavioral responses remains a major question. Here, we identify a visual projection neuron type that conveys predator approach information to the Drosophila giant fiber (GF) escape circuit. Genetic removal of this input during looming stimuli reveals that it encodes angular expansion velocity, whereas other input cell type(s) encode angular size. Motor program selection and timing emerge from linear integration of these two features within the GF. Linear integration improves size detection invariance over prior models and appropriately biases motor selection to rapid, GF-mediated escapes during fast looms. Our findings suggest feature integration, and motor control may occur as simultaneous operations within the same neuron and establish the Drosophila escape circuit as a model system in which these computations may be further dissected at the circuit level. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

The laminar organization of the Drosophila ellipsoid body is semaphorin-dependent and prevents the formation of ectopic synaptic connections.

  • Xie X
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jun 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

The ellipsoid body (EB) in the Drosophila brain is a central complex (CX) substructure that harbors circumferentially laminated ring (R) neuron axons and mediates multifaceted sensory integration and motor coordination functions. However, what regulates R axon lamination and how lamination affects R neuron function remain unknown. We show here that the EB is sequentially innervated by small-field and large-field neurons and that early developing EB neurons play an important regulatory role in EB laminae formation. The transmembrane proteins semaphorin-1a (Sema-1a) and plexin A function together to regulate R axon lamination. R neurons recruit both GABA and GABA-A receptors to their axon terminals in the EB, and optogenetic stimulation coupled with electrophysiological recordings show that Sema-1a-dependent R axon lamination is required for preventing the spread of synaptic inhibition between adjacent EB lamina. These results provide direct evidence that EB lamination is critical for local pre-synaptic inhibitory circuit organization.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS050274()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS079584()

Loss of Action via Neurotensin-Leptin Receptor Neurons Disrupts Leptin and Ghrelin-Mediated Control of Energy Balance.

  • Brown JA
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The hormones ghrelin and leptin act via the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) to modify energy balance, but the underlying neural mechanisms remain unclear. We investigated how leptin and ghrelin engage LHA neurons to modify energy balance behaviors and whether there is any crosstalk between leptin and ghrelin-responsive circuits. We demonstrate that ghrelin activates LHA neurons expressing hypocretin/orexin (OX) to increase food intake. Leptin mediates anorectic actions via separate neurons expressing the long form of the leptin receptor (LepRb), many of which coexpress the neuropeptide neurotensin (Nts); we refer to these as NtsLepRb neurons. Because NtsLepRb neurons inhibit OX neurons, we hypothesized that disruption of the NtsLepRb neuronal circuit would impair both NtsLepRb and OX neurons from responding to their respective hormonal cues, thus compromising adaptive energy balance. Indeed, mice with developmental deletion of LepRb specifically from NtsLepRb neurons exhibit blunted adaptive responses to leptin and ghrelin that discoordinate the mesolimbic dopamine system and ingestive and locomotor behaviors, leading to weight gain. Collectively, these data reveal a crucial role for LepRb in the proper formation of LHA circuits, and that NtsLepRb neurons are important neuronal hubs within the LHA for hormone-mediated control of ingestive and locomotor behaviors.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - F30 DK107163()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - F31 DK107081()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK034933()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R00 DK090101()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK103808()

Descending projections from the basal forebrain to the orexin neurons in mice.

  • Agostinelli LJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The orexin (hypocretin) neurons play an essential role in promoting arousal, and loss of the orexin neurons results in narcolepsy, a condition characterized by chronic sleepiness and cataplexy. The orexin neurons excite wake-promoting neurons in the basal forebrain (BF), and a reciprocal projection from the BF back to the orexin neurons may help promote arousal and motivation. The BF contains at least three different cell types (cholinergic, glutamatergic, and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons) across its different regions (medial septum, diagonal band, magnocellular preoptic area, and substantia innominata). Given the neurochemical and anatomical heterogeneity of the BF, we mapped the pattern of BF projections to the orexin neurons across multiple BF regions and neuronal types. We performed conditional anterograde tracing using mice that express Cre recombinase only in neurons producing acetylcholine, glutamate, or GABA. We found that the orexin neurons are heavily apposed by axon terminals of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons of the substantia innominata (SI) and magnocellular preoptic area, but there was no innervation by the cholinergic neurons. Channelrhodopsin-assisted circuit mapping (CRACM) demonstrated that glutamatergic SI neurons frequently form functional synapses with the orexin neurons, but, surprisingly, functional synapses from SI GABAergic neurons were rare. Considering their strong reciprocal connections, BF and orexin neurons likely work in concert to promote arousal, motivation, and other behaviors. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1668-1684, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Reciprocal synapses between mushroom body and dopamine neurons form a positive feedback loop required for learning.

  • Cervantes-Sandoval I
  • Elife
  • 2017 May 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Current thought envisions dopamine neurons conveying the reinforcing effect of the unconditioned stimulus during associative learning to the axons of Drosophila mushroom body Kenyon cells for normal olfactory learning. Here, we show using functional GFP reconstitution experiments that Kenyon cells and dopamine neurons from axoaxonic reciprocal synapses. The dopamine neurons receive cholinergic input via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors from the Kenyon cells; knocking down these receptors impairs olfactory learning revealing the importance of these receptors at the synapse. Blocking the synaptic output of Kenyon cells during olfactory conditioning reduces presynaptic calcium transients in dopamine neurons, a finding consistent with reciprocal communication. Moreover, silencing Kenyon cells decreases the normal chronic activity of the dopamine neurons. Our results reveal a new and critical role for positive feedback onto dopamine neurons through reciprocal connections with Kenyon cells for normal olfactory learning.

Representations of Novelty and Familiarity in a Mushroom Body Compartment.

  • Hattori D
  • Cell
  • 2017 May 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Animals exhibit a behavioral response to novel sensory stimuli about which they have no prior knowledge. We have examined the neural and behavioral correlates of novelty and familiarity in the olfactory system of Drosophila. Novel odors elicit strong activity in output neurons (MBONs) of the α'3 compartment of the mushroom body that is rapidly suppressed upon repeated exposure to the same odor. This transition in neural activity upon familiarization requires odor-evoked activity in the dopaminergic neuron innervating this compartment. Moreover, exposure of a fly to novel odors evokes an alerting response that can also be elicited by optogenetic activation of α'3 MBONs. Silencing these MBONs eliminates the alerting behavior. These data suggest that the α'3 compartment plays a causal role in the behavioral response to novel and familiar stimuli as a consequence of dopamine-mediated plasticity at the Kenyon cell-MBONα'3 synapse.

A cell cycle-independent, conditional gene inactivation strategy for differentially tagging wild-type and mutant cells.

  • Nagarkar-Jaiswal S
  • Elife
  • 2017 May 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

Here, we describe a novel method based on intronic MiMIC insertions described in Nagarkar-Jaiswal et al. (2015) to perform conditional gene inactivation in Drosophila. Mosaic analysis in Drosophila cannot be easily performed in post-mitotic cells. We therefore, therefore, developed Flip-Flop, a flippase-dependent in vivo cassette-inversion method that marks wild-type cells with the endogenous EGFP-tagged protein, whereas mutant cells are marked with mCherry upon inversion. We document the ease and usefulness of this strategy in differential tagging of wild-type and mutant cells in mosaics. We use this approach to phenotypically characterize the loss of SNF4Aγ, encoding the γ subunit of the AMP Kinase complex. The Flip-Flop method is efficient and reliable, and permits conditional gene inactivation based on both spatial and temporal cues, in a cell cycle-, and developmental stage-independent fashion, creating a platform for systematic screens of gene function in developing and adult flies with unprecedented detail.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - U54 HD083092()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM067858()
  • NIH HHS - P40 OD018537()

Skilled Movements Require Non-apoptotic Bax/Bak Pathway-Mediated Corticospinal Circuit Reorganization.

  • Gu Z
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Early postnatal mammals, including human babies, can perform only basic motor tasks. The acquisition of skilled behaviors occurs later, requiring anatomical changes in neural circuitry to support the development of coordinated activation or suppression of functionally related muscle groups. How this circuit reorganization occurs during postnatal development remains poorly understood. Here we explore the connectivity between corticospinal (CS) neurons in the motor cortex and muscles in mice. Using trans-synaptic viral and electrophysiological assays, we identify the early postnatal reorganization of CS circuitry for antagonistic muscle pairs. We further show that this synaptic rearrangement requires the activity-dependent, non-apoptotic Bax/Bak-caspase signaling cascade. Adult Bax/Bak mutant mice exhibit aberrant co-activation of antagonistic muscle pairs and skilled grasping deficits but normal reaching and retrieval behaviors. Our findings reveal key cellular and molecular mechanisms driving postnatal motor circuit reorganization and the resulting impacts on muscle activation patterns and the execution of skilled movements.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS079569()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS093002()

Serotonergic Projections Govern Postnatal Neuroblast Migration.

  • García-González D
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

In many vertebrates, postnatally generated neurons often migrate long distances to reach their final destination, where they help shape local circuit activity. Concerted action of extrinsic stimuli is required to regulate long-distance migration. Some migratory principles are evolutionarily conserved, whereas others are species and cell type specific. Here we identified a serotonergic mechanism that governs migration of postnatally generated neurons in the mouse brain. Serotonergic axons originating from the raphe nuclei exhibit a conspicuous alignment with subventricular zone-derived neuroblasts. Optogenetic axonal activation provides functional evidence for serotonergic modulation of neuroblast migration. Furthermore, we show that the underlying mechanism involves serotonin receptor 3A (5HT3A)-mediated calcium influx. Thus, 5HT3A receptor deletion in neuroblasts impaired speed and directionality of migration and abolished calcium spikes. We speculate that serotonergic modulation of postnatally generated neuroblast migration is evolutionarily conserved as indicated by the presence of serotonergic axons in migratory paths in other vertebrates.

Homeostatic Plasticity Shapes Cell-Type-Specific Wiring in the Retina.

  • Tien NW
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Convergent input from different presynaptic partners shapes the responses of postsynaptic neurons. Whether developing postsynaptic neurons establish connections with each presynaptic partner independently or balance inputs to attain specific responses is unclear. Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) receive convergent input from bipolar cell types with different contrast responses and temporal tuning. Here, using optogenetic activation and pharmacogenetic silencing, we found that type 6 bipolar (B6) cells dominate excitatory input to ONα-RGCs. We generated mice in which B6 cells were selectively removed from developing circuits (B6-DTA). In B6-DTA mice, ONα-RGCs adjusted connectivity with other bipolar cells in a cell-type-specific manner. They recruited new partners, increased synapses with some existing partners, and maintained constant input from others. Patch-clamp recordings revealed that anatomical rewiring precisely preserved contrast and temporal frequency response functions of ONα-RGCs, indicating that homeostatic plasticity shapes cell-type-specific wiring in the developing retina to stabilize visual information sent to the brain.

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

GABAergic Neurons of the Central Amygdala Promote Cataplexy.

  • Mahoney CE
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Apr 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Narcolepsy is characterized by chronic sleepiness and cataplexy-sudden muscle paralysis triggered by strong, positive emotions. This condition is caused by a lack of orexin (hypocretin) signaling, but little is known about the neural mechanisms that mediate cataplexy. The amygdala regulates responses to rewarding stimuli and contains neurons active during cataplexy. In addition, lesions of the amygdala reduce cataplexy. Because GABAergic neurons of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) target brainstem regions known to regulate muscle tone, we hypothesized that these cells promote emotion-triggered cataplexy. We injected adeno-associated viral vectors coding for Cre-dependent DREADDs or a control vector into the CeA of orexin knock-out mice crossed with vGAT-Cre mice, resulting in selective expression of the excitatory hM3 receptor or the inhibitory hM4 receptor in GABAergic neurons of the CeA. We measured sleep/wake behavior and cataplexy after injection of saline or the hM3/hM4 ligand clozapine-N-oxide (CNO) under baseline conditions and under conditions that should elicit positive emotions. In mice expressing hM3, CNO approximately doubled the amount of cataplexy in the first 3 h after dosing under baseline conditions. Rewarding stimuli (chocolate or running wheels) also increased cataplexy, but CNO produced no further increase. In mice expressing hM4, CNO reduced cataplexy in the presence of chocolate or running wheels. These results demonstrate that GABAergic neurons of the CeA are sufficient and necessary for the production of cataplexy in mice, and they likely are a key part of the mechanism through which positive emotions trigger cataplexy.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Cataplexy is one of the major symptoms of narcolepsy, but little is known about how strong, positive emotions trigger these episodes of muscle paralysis. Prior research shows that amygdala neurons are active during cataplexy and cataplexy is reduced by lesions of the amygdala. We found that cataplexy is substantially increased by selective activation of GABAergic neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA). We also demonstrate that inhibition of these neurons reduces reward-promoted cataplexy. These results build upon prior work to establish the CeA as a crucial element in the neural mechanisms of cataplexy. These results demonstrate the importance of the CeA in regulating responses to rewarding stimuli, shedding light on the broader neurobiology of emotions and motor control.

Diazepam Binding Inhibitor Promotes Stem Cell Expansion Controlling Environment-Dependent Neurogenesis.

  • Dumitru I
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Apr 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Plasticity of adult neurogenesis supports adaptation to environmental changes. The identification of molecular mediators that signal these changes to neural progenitors in the niche has remained elusive. Here we report that diazepam binding inhibitor (DBI) is crucial in supporting an adaptive mechanism in response to changes in the environment. We provide evidence that DBI is expressed in stem cells in all neurogenic niches of the postnatal brain. Focusing on the hippocampal subgranular zone (SGZ) and employing multiple genetic manipulations in vivo, we demonstrate that DBI regulates the balance between preserving the stem cell pool and neurogenesis. Specifically, DBI dampens GABA activity in stem cells, thereby sustaining the proproliferative effect of physical exercise and enriched environment. Our data lend credence to the notion that the modulatory effect of DBI constitutes a general mechanism that regulates postnatal neurogenesis.

Distinct migratory behaviors of striosome and matrix cells underlying the mosaic formation in the developing striatum.

  • Hagimoto K
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The striatum, the largest nucleus of the basal ganglia controlling motor and cognitive functions, can be characterized by a labyrinthine mosaic organization of striosome/matrix compartments. It is unclear how striosome/matrix mosaic formation is spatially and temporally controlled at the cellular level during striatal development. Here, by combining in vivo electroporation and brain slice cultures, we set up a prospective experimental system in which we differentially labeled striosome and matrix cells from the time of birth and followed their distributions and migratory behaviors. Our results showed that, at an initial stage of striosome/matrix mosaic formation, striosome cells were mostly stationary, whereas matrix cells actively migrated in multiple directions regardless of the presence of striosome cells. The mostly stationary striosome cells were still able to associate to form patchy clusters via attractive interactions. Our results suggest that the restricted migratory capability of striosome cells may allow them to cluster together only when they happen to be located in close proximity to each other and are not separated by actively migrating matrix cells. The way in which the mutidirectionally migrating matrix cells intermingle with the mostly stationary striosome cells may therefore determine the topographic features of striosomes. At later stages, the actively migrating matrix cells began to repulse the patchy clusters of striosomes, presumably enhancing the striosome cluster formation and the segregation and eventual formation of dichotomous homogeneous striosome/matrix compartments. Overall, our study reveals temporally distinct migratory behaviors of striosome/matrix cells, which may underlie the sequential steps of mosaic formation in the developing striatum. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:794-817, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

GRASP1 Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Learning through Endosomal Recycling of AMPA Receptors.

  • Chiu SL
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Mar 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Learning depends on experience-dependent modification of synaptic efficacy and neuronal connectivity in the brain. We provide direct evidence for physiological roles of the recycling endosome protein GRASP1 in glutamatergic synapse function and animal behavior. Mice lacking GRASP1 showed abnormal excitatory synapse number, synaptic plasticity, and hippocampal-dependent learning and memory due to a failure in learning-induced synaptic AMPAR incorporation. We identified two GRASP1 point mutations from intellectual disability (ID) patients that showed convergent disruptive effects on AMPAR recycling and glutamate uncaging-induced structural and functional plasticity. Wild-type GRASP1, but not ID mutants, rescued spine loss in hippocampal CA1 neurons in Grasp1 knockout mice. Together, these results demonstrate a requirement for normal recycling endosome function in AMPAR-dependent synaptic function and neuronal connectivity in vivo, and suggest a potential role for GRASP1 in the pathophysiology of human cognitive disorders.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS036715()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS073854()

FlpStop, a tool for conditional gene control in Drosophila.

  • Fisher YE
  • Elife
  • 2017 Feb 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Manipulating gene function cell type-specifically is a common experimental goal in Drosophila research and has been central to studies of neural development, circuit computation, and behavior. However, current cell type-specific gene disruption techniques in flies often reduce gene activity incompletely or rely on cell division. Here we describe FlpStop, a generalizable tool for conditional gene disruption and rescue in post-mitotic cells. In proof-of-principle experiments, we manipulated apterous, a regulator of wing development. Next, we produced conditional null alleles of Glutamic acid decarboxylase 1 (Gad1) and Resistant to dieldrin (Rdl), genes vital for GABAergic neurotransmission, as well as cacophony (cac) and paralytic (para), voltage-gated ion channels central to neuronal excitability. To demonstrate the utility of this approach, we manipulated cac in a specific visual interneuron type and discovered differential regulation of calcium signals across subcellular compartments. Thus, FlpStop will facilitate investigations into the interactions between genes, circuits, and computation.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY022638()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - U01 MH109119()

Artemisinins Target GABAA Receptor Signaling and Impair α Cell Identity.

  • Li J
  • Cell
  • 2017 Jan 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Type 1 diabetes is characterized by the destruction of pancreatic β cells, and generating new insulin-producing cells from other cell types is a major aim of regenerative medicine. One promising approach is transdifferentiation of developmentally related pancreatic cell types, including glucagon-producing α cells. In a genetic model, loss of the master regulatory transcription factor Arx is sufficient to induce the conversion of α cells to functional β-like cells. Here, we identify artemisinins as small molecules that functionally repress Arx by causing its translocation to the cytoplasm. We show that the protein gephyrin is the mammalian target of these antimalarial drugs and that the mechanism of action of these molecules depends on the enhancement of GABAA receptor signaling. Our results in zebrafish, rodents, and primary human pancreatic islets identify gephyrin as a druggable target for the regeneration of pancreatic β cell mass from α cells.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD084409(United States)

Loss of Plasticity in the D2-Accumbens Pallidal Pathway Promotes Cocaine Seeking.

  • Heinsbroek JA
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Jan 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Distinct populations of D1- and D2-dopamine receptor-expressing medium spiny neurons (D1-/D2-MSNs) comprise the nucleus accumbens, and activity in D1-MSNs promotes, whereas activity in D2-MSNs inhibits, motivated behaviors. We used chemogenetics to extend D1-/D2-MSN cell specific regulation to cue-reinstated cocaine seeking in a mouse model of self-administration and relapse, and found that either increasing activity in D1-MSNs or decreasing activity in D2-MSNs augmented cue-induced reinstatement. Both D1- and D2-MSNs provide substantial GABAergic innervation to the ventral pallidum, and chemogenetic inhibition of ventral pallidal neurons blocked the augmented reinstatement elicited by chemogenetic regulation of either D1- or D2-MSNs. Because D1- and D2-MSNs innervate overlapping populations of ventral pallidal neurons, we next used optogenetics to examine whether changes in synaptic plasticity in D1- versus D2-MSN GABAergic synapses in the ventral pallidum could explain the differential regulation of VP activity. In mice trained to self-administer cocaine, GABAergic LTD was abolished in D2-, but not in D1-MSN synapses. A μ opioid receptor antagonist restored GABA currents in D2-, but not D1-MSN synapses of cocaine-trained mice, indicating that increased enkephalin tone on presynaptic μ opioid receptors was responsible for occluding the LTD. These results identify a behavioral function for D1-MSN innervation of the ventral pallidum, and suggest that losing LTDGABA in D2-MSN, but not D1-MSN input to ventral pallidum may promote cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: More than 90% of ventral striatum is composed of two cell types, those expressing dopamine D1 or D2 receptors, which exert opposing roles on motivated behavior. Both cell types send GABAergic projections to the ventral pallidum and were found to differentially promote cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking via the ventral pallidum. Furthermore, after cocaine self-administration, synaptic plasticity was selectively lost in D2, but not D1 inputs to the ventral pallidum. The selective impairment in D2 afferents may promote the influence of D1 inputs to drive relapse to cocaine seeking.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - P50 DA015369()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA003906()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R37 DA003906()

The Cellular and Synaptic Architecture of the Mechanosensory Dorsal Horn.

  • Abraira VE
  • Cell
  • 2017 Jan 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The deep dorsal horn is a poorly characterized spinal cord region implicated in processing low-threshold mechanoreceptor (LTMR) information. We report an array of mouse genetic tools for defining neuronal components and functions of the dorsal horn LTMR-recipient zone (LTMR-RZ), a role for LTMR-RZ processing in tactile perception, and the basic logic of LTMR-RZ organization. We found an unexpectedly high degree of neuronal diversity in the LTMR-RZ: seven excitatory and four inhibitory subtypes of interneurons exhibiting unique morphological, physiological, and synaptic properties. Remarkably, LTMRs form synapses on between four and 11 LTMR-RZ interneuron subtypes, while each LTMR-RZ interneuron subtype samples inputs from at least one to three LTMR classes, as well as spinal cord interneurons and corticospinal neurons. Thus, the LTMR-RZ is a somatosensory processing region endowed with a neuronal complexity that rivals the retina and functions to pattern the activity of ascending touch pathways that underlie tactile perception.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - S10 RR028832()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - P30 DA035756()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA034022()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R21 DA023643()
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R01 DE022750()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F32 NS077836()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P01 NS079419()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS072030()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R35 NS097344()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - T32 NS007292()

Embryonic origin and lineage hierarchies of the neural progenitor subtypes building the zebrafish adult midbrain.

  • Galant S
  • Dev. Biol.
  • 2016 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurogenesis in the post-embryonic vertebrate brain varies in extent and efficiency between species and brain territories. Distinct neurogenesis modes may account for this diversity, and several neural progenitor subtypes, radial glial cells (RG) and neuroepithelial progenitors (NE), have been identified in the adult zebrafish brain. The neurogenic sequences issued from these progenitors, and their contribution to brain construction, remain incompletely understood. Here we use genetic tracing techniques based on conditional Cre recombination and Tet-On neuronal birthdating to unravel the neurogenic sequence operating from NE progenitors in the zebrafish post-embryonic optic tectum. We reveal that a subpopulation of her5-positive NE cells of the posterior midbrain layer stands at the top of a neurogenic hierarchy involving, in order, the amplification pool of the tectal proliferation zone (TPZ), followed by her4-positive RG cells with transient neurogenic activity. We further demonstrate that the adult her5-positive NE pool is issued in lineage from an identically located NE pool expressing the same gene in the embryonic neural tube. Finally, we show that these features are reminiscent of the neurogenic sequence and embryonic origin of the her9-positive progenitor NE pool involved in the construction of the lateral pallium at post-embryonic stages. Together, our results highlight the shared recruitment of an identical neurogenic strategy by two remote brain territories, where long-lasting NE pools serve both as a growth zone and as the life-long source of young neurogenic RG cells.

Funding information:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - BBD5231861(United Kingdom)

Frazzled promotes growth cone attachment at the source of a Netrin gradient in the Drosophila visual system.

  • Akin O
  • Elife
  • 2016 Oct 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Axon guidance is proposed to act through a combination of long- and short-range attractive and repulsive cues. The ligand-receptor pair, Netrin (Net) and Frazzled (Fra) (DCC, Deleted in Colorectal Cancer, in vertebrates), is recognized as the prototypical effector of chemoattraction, with roles in both long- and short-range guidance. In the Drosophila visual system, R8 photoreceptor growth cones were shown to require Net-Fra to reach their target, the peak of a Net gradient. Using live imaging, we show, however, that R8 growth cones reach and recognize their target without Net, Fra, or Trim9, a conserved binding partner of Fra, but do not remain attached to it. Thus, despite the graded ligand distribution along the guidance path, Net-Fra is not used for chemoattraction. Based on findings in other systems, we propose that adhesion to substrate-bound Net underlies both long- and short-range Net-Fra-dependent guidance in vivo, thereby eroding the distinction between them.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - R24-OD-011199(United States)

Chemogenetic Activation of an Extinction Neural Circuit Reduces Cue-Induced Reinstatement of Cocaine Seeking.

  • Augur IF
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Sep 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) has been shown to negatively regulate cocaine-seeking behavior, but the precise conditions by which vmPFC activity can be exploited to reduce cocaine relapse are currently unknown. We used viral-mediated gene transfer of designer receptors (DREADDs) to activate vmPFC neurons and examine the consequences on cocaine seeking in a rat self-administration model of relapse. Activation of vmPFC neurons with the Gq-DREADD reduced reinstatement of cocaine seeking elicited by cocaine-associated cues, but not by cocaine itself. We used a retro-DREADD approach to confine the Gq-DREADD to vmPFC neurons that project to the medial nucleus accumbens shell, confirming that these neurons are responsible for the decreased cue-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking. The effects of vmPFC activation on cue-induced reinstatement depended on prior extinction training, consistent with the reported role of this structure in extinction memory. These data help define the conditions under which chemogenetic activation of extinction neural circuits can be exploited to reduce relapse triggered by reminder cues. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) projection to the nucleus accumbens shell is important for extinction of cocaine seeking, but its anatomical proximity to the relapse-promoting projection from the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex to the nucleus accumbens core makes it difficult to selectively enhance neuronal activity in one pathway or the other using traditional pharmacotherapy (e.g., systemically administered drugs). Viral-mediated gene delivery of an activating Gq-DREADD to vmPFC and/or vmPFC projections to the nucleus accumbens shell allows the chemogenetic exploitation of this extinction neural circuit to reduce cocaine seeking and was particularly effective against relapse triggered by cocaine reminder cues.

Drosophila larval to pupal switch under nutrient stress requires IP3R/Ca(2+) signalling in glutamatergic interneurons.

  • Jayakumar S
  • Elife
  • 2016 Aug 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neuronal circuits are known to integrate nutritional information, but the identity of the circuit components is not completely understood. Amino acids are a class of nutrients that are vital for the growth and function of an organism. Here, we report a neuronal circuit that allows Drosophila larvae to overcome amino acid deprivation and pupariate. We find that nutrient stress is sensed by the class IV multidendritic cholinergic neurons. Through live calcium imaging experiments, we show that these cholinergic stimuli are conveyed to glutamatergic neurons in the ventral ganglion through mAChR. We further show that IP3R-dependent calcium transients in the glutamatergic neurons convey this signal to downstream medial neurosecretory cells (mNSCs). The circuit ultimately converges at the ring gland and regulates expression of ecdysteroid biosynthetic genes. Activity in this circuit is thus likely to be an adaptation that provides a layer of regulation to help surpass nutritional stress during development.

Brain-wide map of projections from mice ventral subiculum.

  • Tang H
  • Neurosci. Lett.
  • 2016 Aug 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

The hippocampal formation plays a critical role in episodic memory formation and spatial navigation. Within the hippocampus, the subiculum is considered to be a hub connecting the hippocampal formation to the remainder of the brain. There are functional differences between the dorsal and ventral part of subiculum, while the ventral subiculum (vSub) plays a role in anxiety, stress and emotion. In the present study, we examined the projection of the ventral subiculum to the whole brain in mice by using a modified herpes simplex virus 1 strain H129 with an inserted fluorescent protein gene. In our experiments, the modified H129 transits the primary-order, second-order, and third-order neuronal projections at 36-44, 52-60 and 68-76h after inoculation in mice, respectively. Our data revealed that vSub directly projects to the medial entorhinal cortex, amygdalohippocampal area, anterodorsal thalamic nucleus, medial hypothalamus, supramammillary nucleus, medial septal nucleus and adjacent diagonal band, the connections between median raphe nucleus and interpeduncular nucleus in brain stem, while ventral prefrontal cortex, laterodorsal tegmental nucleus and locus coeruleus receives second-order projections from vSub. Our data would help further understanding the functional connections of vSub with other brain regions.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R21 HD080684(United States)

Dopamine D1 receptor expression is bipolar cell type-specific in the mouse retina.

  • Farshi P
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

In the retina, dopamine is a key molecule for daytime vision. Dopamine is released by retinal dopaminergic amacrine cells and transmits signaling either by conventional synaptic or by volume transmission. By means of volume transmission, dopamine modulates all layers of retinal neurons; however, it is not well understood how dopamine modulates visual signaling pathways in bipolar cells. Here we analyzed Drd1a-tdTomato BAC transgenic mice and found that the dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) is expressed in retinal bipolar cells in a type-dependent manner. Strong tdTomato fluorescence was detected in the inner nuclear layer and localized to type 1, 3b, and 4 OFF bipolar cells and type 5-2, XBC, 6, and 7 ON bipolar cells. In contrast, type 2, 3a, 5-1, 9, and rod bipolar cells did not express Drd1a-tdTomato. Other interneurons were also found to express tdTomato including horizontal cells and a subset (25%) of AII amacrine cells. Diverse visual processing pathways, such as color or motion-coded pathways, are thought to be initiated in retinal bipolar cells. Our results indicate that dopamine sculpts bipolar cell performance in a type-dependent manner to facilitate daytime vision. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2059-2079, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01MH101207(United States)

Area postrema undergoes dynamic postnatal changes in mice and humans.

  • Gokozan HN
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The postnatal period in mammals represents a developmental epoch of significant change in the autonomic nervous system (ANS). This study focuses on postnatal development of the area postrema, a crucial ANS structure that regulates temperature, breathing, and satiety, among other activities. We find that the human area postrema undergoes significant developmental changes during postnatal development. To characterize these changes further, we used transgenic mouse reagents to delineate neuronal circuitry. We discovered that, although a well-formed ANS scaffold exists early in embryonic development, the area postrema shows a delayed maturation. Specifically, postnatal days 0-7 in mice show no significant change in area postrema volume or synaptic input from PHOX2B-derived neurons. In contrast, postnatal days 7-20 show a significant increase in volume and synaptic input from PHOX2B-derived neurons. We conclude that key ANS structures show unexpected dynamic developmental changes during postnatal development. These data provide a basis for understanding ANS dysfunction and disease predisposition in premature and postnatal humans.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - P30 8P30-GM-103507(United States)

AgRP Neuron-Specific Deletion of Glucocorticoid Receptor Leads to Increased Energy Expenditure and Decreased Body Weight in Female Mice on a High-Fat Diet.

  • Shibata M
  • Endocrinology
  • 2016 Apr 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Agouti-related protein (AgRP) expressed in the arcuate nucleus is a potent orexigenic neuropeptide, which increases food intake and reduces energy expenditure resulting in increases in body weight (BW). Glucocorticoids, key hormones that regulate energy balance, have been shown in rodents to regulate the expression of AgRP. In this study, we generated AgRP-specific glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-deficient (knockout [KO]) mice. Female and male KO mice on a high-fat diet (HFD) showed decreases in BW at the age of 6 weeks compared with wild-type mice, and the differences remained significant until 16 weeks old. The degree of resistance to diet-induced obesity was more robust in female than in male mice. On a chow diet, the female KO mice showed slightly but significantly attenuated weight gain compared with wild-type mice after 11 weeks, whereas there were no significant differences in BW in males between genotypes. Visceral fat pad mass was significantly decreased in female KO mice on HFD, whereas there were no significant differences in lean body mass between genotypes. Although food intake was similar between genotypes, oxygen consumption was significantly increased in female KO mice on HFD. In addition, the uncoupling protein-1 expression in the brown adipose tissues was increased in KO mice. These data demonstrate that the absence of GR signaling in AgRP neurons resulted in increases in energy expenditure accompanied by decreases in adiposity in mice fed HFD, indicating that GR signaling in AgRP neurons suppresses energy expenditure under HFD conditions.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01DC012931(United States)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - K01 DK081666(United States)

Ultrastructure of geniculocortical synaptic connections in the tree shrew striate cortex.

  • Familtsev D
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

To determine whether thalamocortical synaptic circuits differ across cortical areas, we examined the ultrastructure of geniculocortical terminals in the tree shrew striate cortex to compare directly the characteristics of these terminals with those of pulvinocortical terminals (examined previously in the temporal cortex of the same species; Chomsung et al. [] Cereb Cortex 20:997-1011). Tree shrews are considered to represent a prototype of early prosimian primates but are unique in that sublaminae of striate cortex layer IV respond preferentially to light onset (IVa) or offset (IVb). We examined geniculocortical inputs to these two sublayers labeled by tracer or virus injections or an antibody against the type 2 vesicular glutamate antibody (vGLUT2). We found that layer IV geniculocortical terminals, as well as their postsynaptic targets, were significantly larger than pulvinocortical terminals and their postsynaptic targets. In addition, we found that 9-10% of geniculocortical terminals in each sublamina contacted GABAergic interneurons, whereas pulvinocortical terminals were not found to contact any interneurons. Moreover, we found that the majority of geniculocortical terminals in both IVa and IVb contained dendritic protrusions, whereas pulvinocortical terminals do not contain these structures. Finally, we found that synaptopodin, a protein uniquely associated with the spine apparatus, and telencephalin (TLCN, or intercellular adhesion molecule type 5), a protein associated with maturation of dendritic spines, are largely excluded from geniculocortical recipient layers of the striate cortex. Together our results suggest major differences in the synaptic organization of thalamocortical pathways in striate and extrastriate areas.

Organization of projection neurons and local neurons of the primary auditory center in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

  • Matsuo E
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Acoustic communication between insects serves as an excellent model system for analyzing the neuronal mechanisms underlying auditory information processing. The detailed organization of auditory neural circuits in the brain has not yet been described. To understand the central auditory pathways, we used the brain of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model and performed a large-scale analysis of the interneurons associated with the primary auditory center. By screening expression driver strains and performing single-cell labeling of these strains, we identified 44 types of interneurons innervating the primary auditory center. Five types were local interneurons whereas the other 39 types were projection interneurons connecting the primary auditory center with other brain regions. The projection neurons comprised three frequency-selective pathways and two frequency-embracive pathways. Mapping of their connection targets revealed that five neuropils in the brain-the wedge (WED), anterior ventrolateral protocerebrum, posterior ventrolateral protocerebrum (PVLP), saddle (SAD), and gnathal ganglia (GNG)-were intensively connected with the primary auditory center. In addition, several other neuropils, including visual and olfactory centers in the brain, were directly connected to the primary auditory center. The distribution patterns of the spines and boutons of the identified neurons suggest that auditory information is sent mainly from the primary auditory center to the PVLP, WED, SAD, GNG, and thoracico-abdominal ganglia. Based on these findings, we established the first comprehensive map of secondary auditory interneurons, which indicates the downstream information flow to parallel ascending pathways, multimodal pathways, and descending pathways.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA16058(United States)

Expanding the power of recombinase-based labeling to uncover cellular diversity.

  • Plummer NW
  • Development
  • 2015 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Investigating the developmental, structural and functional complexity of mammalian tissues and organs depends on identifying and gaining experimental access to diverse cell populations. Here, we describe a set of recombinase-responsive fluorescent indicator alleles in mice that significantly extends our ability to uncover cellular diversity by exploiting the intrinsic genetic signatures that uniquely define cell types. Using a recombinase-based intersectional strategy, these new alleles uniquely permit non-invasive labeling of cells defined by the overlap of up to three distinct gene expression domains. In response to different combinations of Cre, Flp and Dre recombinases, they express eGFP and/or tdTomato to allow the visualization of full cellular morphology. Here, we demonstrate the value of these features through a proof-of-principle analysis of the central noradrenergic system. We label previously inaccessible subpopulations of noradrenergic neurons to reveal details of their three-dimensional architecture and axon projection profiles. These new indicator alleles will provide experimental access to cell populations at unprecedented resolution, facilitating analysis of their developmental origin and anatomical, molecular and physiological properties.

Neuropeptide F neurons modulate sugar reward during associative olfactory learning of Drosophila larvae.

  • Rohwedder A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

All organisms continuously have to adapt their behavior according to changes in the environment in order to survive. Experience-driven changes in behavior are usually mediated and maintained by modifications in signaling within defined brain circuits. Given the simplicity of the larval brain of Drosophila and its experimental accessibility on the genetic and behavioral level, we analyzed if Drosophila neuropeptide F (dNPF) neurons are involved in classical olfactory conditioning. dNPF is an ortholog of the mammalian neuropeptide Y, a highly conserved neuromodulator that stimulates food-seeking behavior. We provide a comprehensive anatomical analysis of the dNPF neurons on the single-cell level. We demonstrate that artificial activation of dNPF neurons inhibits appetitive olfactory learning by modulating the sugar reward signal during acquisition. No effect is detectable for the retrieval of an established appetitive olfactory memory. The modulatory effect is based on the joint action of three distinct cell types that, if tested on the single-cell level, inhibit and invert the conditioned behavior. Taken together, our work describes anatomically and functionally a new part of the sugar reinforcement signaling pathway for classical olfactory conditioning in Drosophila larvae.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY015128(United States)

Hindbrain Catecholamine Neurons Activate Orexin Neurons During Systemic Glucoprivation in Male Rats.

  • Li AJ
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Aug 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Hindbrain catecholamine neurons are required for elicitation of feeding responses to glucose deficit, but the forebrain circuitry required for these responses is incompletely understood. Here we examined interactions of catecholamine and orexin neurons in eliciting glucoprivic feeding. Orexin neurons, located in the perifornical lateral hypothalamus (PeFLH), are heavily innervated by hindbrain catecholamine neurons, stimulate food intake, and increase arousal and behavioral activation. Orexin neurons may therefore contribute importantly to appetitive responses, such as food seeking, during glucoprivation. Retrograde tracing results showed that nearly all innervation of the PeFLH from the hindbrain originated from catecholamine neurons and some raphe nuclei. Results also suggested that many catecholamine neurons project collaterally to the PeFLH and paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus. Systemic administration of the antiglycolytic agent, 2-deoxy-D-glucose, increased food intake and c-Fos expression in orexin neurons. Both responses were eliminated by a lesion of catecholamine neurons innervating orexin neurons using the retrogradely transported immunotoxin, anti-dopamine-β-hydroxylase saporin, which is specifically internalized by dopamine-β-hydroxylase-expressing catecholamine neurons. Using designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs in transgenic rats expressing Cre recombinase under the control of tyrosine hydroxylase promoter, catecholamine neurons in cell groups A1 and C1 of the ventrolateral medulla were activated selectively by peripheral injection of clozapine-N-oxide. Clozapine-N-oxide injection increased food intake and c-Fos expression in PeFLH orexin neurons as well as in paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus neurons. In summary, catecholamine neurons are required for the activation of orexin neurons during glucoprivation. Activation of orexin neurons may contribute to appetitive responses required for glucoprivic feeding.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS065020(United States)

Evidence for limited D1 and D2 receptor coexpression and colocalization within the dorsal striatum of the neonatal mouse.

  • Biezonski DK
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The striatum is the major input nucleus of the basal ganglia involved in reward processing, goal-directed behaviors, habit learning, and motor control. The striatum projects to the basal ganglia output nuclei via the "direct" and "indirect" pathways, which can be distinguished by their projection fields and their opposing effects on behavior. In adult animals, the functional opposition is modulated by the differential actions of D1 and D2 dopamine receptors (D1R, D2R), the expression of which is largely separated between these pathways. To determine whether a similar degree of separation exists earlier in development, we used dual-label immunohistochemistry to map dorsal-striatal D1R and D2R expression at the promoter level in postnatal day 0 (PD0) Drd1a-tdTomato/Drd2-GFP BAC transgenic mice, and at the receptor level by costaining for native D1R and D2R in wildtype (WT) PD0 animals. To assess for potential molecular interactions between D1R and D2R we also employed a recently developed proximity-ligation assay (PLA). Limited coexpression and colocalization of the D1R and D2R proteins was found in clusters of neurons endemic to the "patch" compartment as identified by costaining with tyrosine hydroxylase, but not outside these clusters. Moreover, in contrast to our recent findings where we failed to detect a D1R-D2R PLA signal in the adult striatum, in PD0 striatum we did identify a clear PLA signal for this pair of receptors. This colocalization at close proximity points to a possible role for D1R/D2R-mediated crosstalk in early striatal ontogeny.

A Cdh1-APC/FMRP Ubiquitin Signaling Link Drives mGluR-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in the Mammalian Brain.

  • Huang J
  • Neuron
  • 2015 May 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Deregulation of synaptic plasticity may contribute to the pathogenesis of developmental cognitive disorders. In particular, exaggerated mGluR-dependent LTD is featured in fragile X syndrome, but the mechanisms that regulate mGluR-LTD remain incompletely understood. We report that conditional knockout of Cdh1, the key regulatory subunit of the ubiquitin ligase Cdh1-anaphase-promoting complex (Cdh1-APC), profoundly impairs mGluR-LTD in the hippocampus. Mechanistically, we find that Cdh1-APC operates in the cytoplasm to drive mGluR-LTD. We also identify the fragile X syndrome protein FMRP as a substrate of Cdh1-APC. Endogenous Cdh1-APC forms a complex with endogenous FMRP, and knockout of Cdh1 impairs mGluR-induced ubiquitination and degradation of FMRP in the hippocampus. Knockout of FMRP suppresses, and expression of an FMRP mutant protein that fails to interact with Cdh1 phenocopies, the Cdh1 knockout phenotype of impaired mGluR-LTD. These findings define Cdh1-APC and FMRP as components of a novel ubiquitin signaling pathway that regulates mGluR-LTD in the brain.

Loss of mitochondrial fission depletes axonal mitochondria in midbrain dopamine neurons.

  • Berthet A
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2014 Oct 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Disruptions in mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to the selective degeneration of dopamine (DA) neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known about the normal functions of mitochondrial dynamics in these neurons, especially in axons where degeneration begins, and this makes it difficult to understand the disease process. To study one aspect of mitochondrial dynamics-mitochondrial fission-in mouse DA neurons, we deleted the central fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). Drp1 loss rapidly eliminates the DA terminals in the caudate-putamen and causes cell bodies in the midbrain to degenerate and lose α-synuclein. Without Drp1, mitochondrial mass dramatically decreases, especially in axons, where the mitochondrial movement becomes uncoordinated. However, in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subset of midbrain DA neurons characterized by small hyperpolarization-activated cation currents (Ih) is spared, despite near complete loss of their axonal mitochondria. Drp1 is thus critical for targeting mitochondria to the nerve terminal, and a disruption in mitochondrial fission can contribute to the preferential death of nigrostriatal DA neurons.

GABAergic and glutamatergic efferents of the mouse ventral tegmental area.

  • Taylor SR
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2014 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The role of dopaminergic (DA) projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in appetitive and rewarding behavior has been widely studied, but the VTA also has documented DA-independent functions. Several drugs of abuse, act on VTA GABAergic neurons, and most studies have focused on local inhibitory connections. Relatively little is known about VTA GABA projection neurons and their connections to brain sites outside the VTA. This study employed viral-vector-mediated cell-type-specific anterograde tracing, classical retrograde tracing, and immunohistochemistry to characterize VTA GABA efferents throughout the brain. We found that VTA GABA neurons project widely to forebrain and brainstem targets, including the ventral pallidum, lateral and magnocellular preoptic nuclei, lateral hypothalamus, and lateral habenula. Minor projections also go to central amygdala, mediodorsal thalamus, dorsal raphe, and deep mesencephalic nuclei, and sparse projections go to prefrontal cortical regions and to nucleus accumbens shell and core. These projections differ from the major VTA DA target regions. Retrograde tracing studies confirmed results from the anterograde experiments and differences in projections from VTA subnuclei. Retrogradely labeled GABA neurons were not numerous, and most non-tyrosine hydroxylase/retrogradely labeled cells lacked GABAergic markers. Many non-TH/retrogradely labeled cells projecting to several areas expressed VGluT2. VTA GABA and glutamate neurons project throughout the brain, most prominently to regions with reciprocal connections to the VTA. These data indicate that VTA GABA and glutamate neurons may have more DA-independent functions than previously recognized.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - RR 17072(United States)

Dlg5 regulates dendritic spine formation and synaptogenesis by controlling subcellular N-cadherin localization.

  • Wang SH
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2014 Sep 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Most excitatory synapses in the mammalian brain are formed on dendritic spines, and spine density has a profound impact on synaptic transmission, integration, and plasticity. Membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) proteins are intracellular scaffolding proteins with well established roles in synapse function. However, whether MAGUK proteins are required for the formation of dendritic spines in vivo is unclear. We isolated a novel disc large-5 (Dlg5) allele in mice, Dlg5(LP), which harbors a missense mutation in the DLG5 SH3 domain, greatly attenuating its ability to interact with the DLG5 GUK domain. We show here that DLG5 is a MAGUK protein that regulates spine formation, synaptogenesis, and synaptic transmission in cortical neurons. DLG5 regulates synaptogenesis by enhancing the cell surface localization of N-cadherin, revealing a key molecular mechanism for regulating the subcellular localization of this cell adhesion molecule during synaptogenesis.

Neuronal and nonneuronal cholinergic structures in the mouse gastrointestinal tract and spleen.

  • Gautron L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Nov 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Accumulating evidence demonstrates that acetylcholine can directly modulate immune function in peripheral tissues including the spleen and gastrointestinal tract. However, the anatomical relationships between the peripheral cholinergic system and immune cells located in these lymphoid tissues remain unclear due to inherent technical difficulties with currently available neuroanatomical methods. In this study, mice with specific expression of the tdTomato fluorescent protein in choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-expressing cells were used to label preganglionic and postganglionic cholinergic neurons and their projections to lymphoid tissues. Notably, our anatomical observations revealed an abundant innervation in the intestinal lamina propria of the entire gastrointestinal tract principally originating from cholinergic enteric neurons. The aforementioned innervation frequently approached macrophages, plasma cells, and lymphocytes located in the lamina propria and, to a lesser extent, lymphocytes in the interfollicular areas of Peyer's patches. In addition to the above innervation, we observed labeled epithelial cells in the gallbladder and lower intestines, as well as Microfold cells and T-cells within Peyer's patches. In contrast, we found only a sparse innervation in the spleen consisting of neuronal fibers of spinal origin present around arterioles and in lymphocyte-containing areas of the white pulp. Lastly, a small population of ChAT-expressing lymphocytes was identified in the spleen including both T- and B-cells. In summary, this study describes the variety of cholinergic neuronal and nonneuronal cells in a position to modulate gastrointestinal and splenic immunity in the mouse.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - R01 GM088624(United States)

Diverse neuronal lineages make stereotyped contributions to the Drosophila locomotor control center, the central complex.

  • Yang JS
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Drosophila central brain develops from a fixed number of neuroblasts. Each neuroblast makes a clone of neurons that exhibit common trajectories. Here we identified 15 distinct clones that carry larval-born neurons innervating the Drosophila central complex (CX), which consists of four midline structures including the protocerebral bridge (PB), fan-shaped body (FB), ellipsoid body (EB), and noduli (NO). Clonal analysis revealed that the small-field CX neurons, which establish intricate projections across different CX substructures, exist in four isomorphic groups that respectively derive from four complex posterior asense-negative lineages. In terms of the region-characteristic large-field CX neurons, we found that two lineages make PB neurons, 10 lineages produce FB neurons, three lineages generate EB neurons, and two lineages yield NO neurons. The diverse FB developmental origins reflect the discrete input pathways for different FB subcompartments. Clonal analysis enlightens both development and anatomy of the insect locomotor control center.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - T32 AI089704(United States)

Neurochemical characterization of neurons expressing melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 in the mouse hypothalamus.

  • Chee MJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that acts via MCH receptor 1 (MCHR1) in the mouse. It promotes positive energy balance; thus, mice lacking MCH or MCHR1 are lean, hyperactive, and resistant to diet-induced obesity. Identifying the cellular targets of MCH is an important step to understanding the mechanisms underlying MCH actions. We generated the Mchr1-cre mouse that expresses cre recombinase driven by the MCHR1 promoter and crossed it with a tdTomato reporter mouse. The resulting Mchr1-cre/tdTomato progeny expressed easily detectable tdTomato fluorescence in MCHR1 neurons, which were found throughout the olfactory system, striatum, and hypothalamus. To chemically identify MCH-targeted cell populations that play a role in energy balance, MCHR1 hypothalamic neurons were characterized by colabeling select hypothalamic neuropeptides with tdTomato fluorescence. TdTomato fluorescence colocalized with dynorphin, oxytocin, vasopressin, enkephalin, thyrothropin-releasing hormone, and corticotropin-releasing factor immunoreactive cells in the paraventricular nucleus. In the lateral hypothalamus, neurotensin, but neither orexin nor MCH neurons, expressed tdTomato. In the arcuate nucleus, both Neuropeptide Y and proopiomelanocortin cells expressed tdTomato. We further demonstrated that some of these arcuate neurons were also targets of leptin action. Interestingly, MCHR1 was expressed in the vast majority of leptin-sensitive proopiomelanocortin neurons, highlighting their importance for the orexigenic actions of MCH. Taken together, this study supports the use of the Mchr1-cre mouse for outlining the neuroanatomical distribution and neurochemical phenotype of MCHR1 neurons.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - K25AI068151(United States)

Characterization of multiple bistratified retinal ganglion cells in a purkinje cell protein 2-Cre transgenic mouse line.

  • Ivanova E
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Retinal ganglion cells are categorized into multiple classes, including multiple types of bistratified ganglion cells (BGCs). The recent use of transgenic mouse lines with specific type(s) of ganglion cells that are labeled by fluorescent markers has facilitated the morphological and physiological studies of BGCs, particularly the directional-selective BGCs. The most important benefit from using transgenic animals is the capability to perform in vivo gene manipulation. In particular, the Cre/LoxP recombination system has become a powerful tool, allowing gene deletion, overexpression, and ectopic expression in a cell type-specific and temporally controlled fashion. The key to this tool is the availability of Cre mouse lines with cell or tissue type-specific expression of Cre recombinase. In this study we characterized the Cre-positive retinal ganglion cells in a PCP2 (Purkinje cell protein 2)-cre mouse line. We found that all of the Cre-positive retinal ganglion cells were BGCs. Based on morphological criteria, we determined that they can be grouped into five types. The On- and Off-dendrites of three of these types stratified outside of the cholinergic bands and differed from directional selective ganglion cells (DSGCs) morphologically. These cells were negative for Brn-3b and positive for both calretinin and CART retina markers. The remaining two types were identified as putative On-Off and On-DSGCs. This Cre mouse line could be useful for further studies of the molecular and functional properties of BGCs in mice.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - 242870(International)

Pre-Bötzinger complex receives glutamatergic innervation from galaninergic and other retrotrapezoid nucleus neurons.

  • Bochorishvili G
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN) contains CO(2) -responsive neurons that regulate breathing frequency and amplitude. These neurons (RTN-Phox2b neurons) contain the transcription factor Phox2b, vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2) mRNA, and a subset contains preprogalanin mRNA. We wished to determine whether the terminals of RTN-Phox2b neurons contain galanin and VGLUT2 proteins, to identify the specific projections of the galaninergic subset, to test whether RTN-Phox2b neurons contact neurons in the pre-Bötzinger complex, and to identify the ultrastructure of these synapses. The axonal projections of RTN-Phox2b neurons were traced by using biotinylated dextran amine (BDA), and many BDA-ir boutons were found to contain galanin immunoreactivity. RTN galaninergic neurons had ipsilateral projections that were identical with those of this nucleus at large: the ventral respiratory column, the caudolateral nucleus of the solitary tract, and the pontine Kölliker-Fuse, intertrigeminal region, and lateral parabrachial nucleus. For ultrastructural studies, RTN-Phox2b neurons (galaninergic and others) were transfected with a lentiviral vector that expresses mCherry almost exclusively in Phox2b-ir neurons. After spinal cord injections of a catecholamine neuron-selective toxin, there was a depletion of C1 neurons in the RTN area; thus it was determined that the mCherry-positive terminals located in the pre-Bötzinger complex originated almost exclusively from the RTN-Phox2b (non-C1) neurons. These terminals were generally VGLUT2-immunoreactive and formed numerous close appositions with neurokinin-1 receptor-ir pre-Bötzinger complex neurons. Their boutons (n = 48) formed asymmetric synapses filled with small clear vesicles. In summary, RTN-Phox2b neurons, including the galaninergic subset, selectively innervate the respiratory pattern generator plus a portion of the dorsolateral pons. RTN-Phox2b neurons establish classic excitatory glutamatergic synapses with pre-Bötzinger complex neurons presumed to generate the respiratory rhythm.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01HL110737-01(United States)

Timing of Sonic hedgehog and Gli1 expression segregates midbrain dopamine neurons.

  • Hayes L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Oct 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The ventral midbrain (vMb) is organized into distinct anatomical domains and contains cohorts of functionally distinct subtypes of midbrain dopamine (mDA) neurons. We tested the hypothesis that genetic history and timing of gene expression within mDA neuron progenitors impart spatial diversity. Using genetic inducible fate mapping to mark the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) and Gli1 lineages at varying embryonic stages, we performed a quantitative and qualitative comparison of the two lineages' contribution to the mDA neuron domains. Dynamic changes in Shh and Gli1 expression in the vMb primordia delineated their spatial contribution to the embryonic day 12.5 vMb: Both lineages first contributed to the medial domain, but subsequently the Gli1 lineage exclusively contributed to the lateral vMb while the Shh lineage expanded more broadly across the vMb. The contribution of both lineages to the differentiated mDA neuron domain was initially biased anteriorly and became more uniform across the anterior/posterior vMb throughout development. Our findings demonstrate that the early Shh and Gli1 lineages specify mDA neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta while the late Shh and Gli1 lineages maintain their progenitor state longer in the posterior vMb to extend the production of mDA neurons in the ventral tegmental area. Together, our study demonstrates that the timing of gene expression along with the genetic lineage (Shh or Gli1) within the neural progenitors segregate mDA neurons into distinct spatial domains.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - 1S10RR026605-01(United States)

Formation of the spinal network in zebrafish determined by domain-specific pax genes.

  • Ikenaga T
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

In the formation of the spinal network, various transcription factors interact to develop specific cell types. By using a gene trap technique, we established a stable line of zebrafish in which the red fluorescent protein (RFP) was inserted into the pax8 gene. RFP insertion marked putative pax8-lineage cells with fluorescence and inhibited pax8 expression in homozygous embryos. Pax8 homozygous embryos displayed defects in the otic vesicle, as previously reported in studies with morpholinos. The pax8 homozygous embryos survived to adulthood, in contrast to mammalian counterparts that die prematurely. RFP is expressed in the dorsal spinal cord. Examination of the axon morphology revealed that RFP(+) neurons include commissural bifurcating longitudinal (CoBL) interneurons, but other inhibitory neurons such as commissural local (CoLo) interneurons and circumferential ascending (CiA) interneurons do not express RFP. We examined the effect of inhibiting pax2a/pax8 expression on interneuron development. In pax8 homozygous fish, the RFP(+) cells underwent differentiation similar to that of pax8 heterozygous fish, and the swimming behavior remained intact. In contrast, the RFP(+) cells of pax2a/pax8 double mutants displayed altered cell fates. CoBLs were not observed. Instead, RFP(+) cells exhibited axons descending ipsilaterally, a morphology resembling that of V2a/V2b interneurons.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM078005-05(United States)

Neural architecture of the primary gustatory center of Drosophila melanogaster visualized with GAL4 and LexA enhancer-trap systems.

  • Miyazaki T
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Oct 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Gustatory information is essential for animals to select edible foods and avoid poisons. Whereas mammals detect tastants with their taste receptor cells, which convey gustatory signals to the brain indirectly via the taste sensory neurons, insect gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs) send their axons directly to the primary gustatory center in the suboesophageal ganglion (SOG). In spite of this relatively simple architecture, the precise structure of the insect primary gustatory center has not been revealed in enough detail. To obtain comprehensive anatomical knowledge about this brain area, we screened the Drosophila melanogaster GAL4 enhancer-trap strains that visualize specific subsets of the gustatory neurons as well as putative mechanosensory neurons associated with the taste pegs. Terminals of these neurons form three branches in the SOG. To map the positions of their arborization areas precisely, we screened newly established LexA::VP16 enhancer-trap strains and obtained a driver line that labels a large subset of peripheral sensory neurons. By double-labeling specific and landmark neurons with GAL4 and LexA strains, we were able to distinguish 11 zones in the primary gustatory center, among which 5 zones were identified newly in this study. Arborization areas of various known GRNs on the labellum, oesophagus, and legs were also mapped in this framework. The putative mechanosensory neurons terminate exclusively in three zones of these areas, supporting the notion of segregated primary centers that are specialized for chemosensory and mechanosensory signals associated with gustatory sensation.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - U24RR021382(United States)
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY015509-03(United States)

Identification of the Tctex-1 regulatory element that directs expression to neural stem/progenitor cells in developing and adult brain.

  • Tseng YY
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Previous studies showed that Tctex-1 immunoreactivity is selectively enriched in the germinal zones of adult brain. In this report we identify a regulatory region of the Tctex-1 gene that is capable of directing transgenic expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter that recapitulates the spatial and temporal expression pattern of endogenous Tctex-1. This construct specifically targeted expression to the nestin(+)/Pax6(+)/GLAST(+) radial glial cells and Tbr2(+) intermediate progenitors when the reporter construct was delivered to developing mouse neocortex via in utero electroporation. Characterization of mice transgenically expressing GFP under the same regulatory element showed that the GFP expression is faithful to endogenous Tctex-1 at the subgranular zone (SGZ) of dentate gyrus, ventricular/subventricular zone of lateral ventricles, and ependymal layer of 3rd ventricle of adult brains. Immunolocalization and bromodeoxyuridine incorporation studies of adult SGZ in four independent mouse lines showed that Tctex-1:GFP reporter selectively marks nestin(+)/GFAP(+)/Sox2(+) neural stem-like cells in two mouse lines (4 and 13). In two other mouse lines (17 and 18), Tctex-1:GFP is selectively expressed in Type-2 and Type-3 transient amplifying progenitors and a small subset of young neuronal progeny. The P/E-Tctex-1 reporter mouse studies independently confirmed the specific enrichment of Tctex-1 at adult SGZ stem/progenitor cells. Furthermore, these studies supported the notion that an analogous transcriptional program may be used to regulate neurogenesis in embryonic cerebral cortex and adult hippocampus. Finally, the genomic sequences and the reporter mouse lines described here provide useful experimental tools to advance adult neural stem cell research.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - U54 HG003273(United States)