321 results found
Jimenez-Martin J, Potapov D, Potapov K, et al., 2021, Cholinergic modulation of sensory processing in awake mouse cortex., Sci Rep, Vol: 11
Cholinergic modulation of brain activity is fundamental for awareness and conscious sensorimotor behaviours, but deciphering the timing and significance of acetylcholine actions for these behaviours is challenging. The widespread nature of cholinergic projections to the cortex means that new insights require access to specific neuronal populations, and on a time-scale that matches behaviourally relevant cholinergic actions. Here, we use fast, voltage imaging of L2/3 cortical pyramidal neurons exclusively expressing the genetically-encoded voltage indicator Butterfly 1.2, in awake, head-fixed mice, receiving sensory stimulation, whilst manipulating the cholinergic system. Altering muscarinic acetylcholine function re-shaped sensory-evoked fast depolarisation and subsequent slow hyperpolarisation of L2/3 pyramidal neurons. A consequence of this re-shaping was disrupted adaptation of the sensory-evoked responses, suggesting a critical role for acetylcholine during sensory discrimination behaviour. Our findings provide new insights into how the cortex processes sensory information and how loss of acetylcholine, for example in Alzheimer's Disease, disrupts sensory behaviours.
Karapinar R, Schwitalla JC, Eickelbeck D, et al., 2021, Reverse optogenetics of G protein signaling by zebrafish non-visual opsin Opn7b for synchronization of neuronal networks., Nat Commun, Vol: 12
Opn7b is a non-visual G protein-coupled receptor expressed in zebrafish. Here we find that Opn7b expressed in HEK cells constitutively activates the Gi/o pathway and illumination with blue/green light inactivates G protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium channels. This suggests that light acts as an inverse agonist for Opn7b and can be used as an optogenetic tool to inhibit neuronal networks in the dark and interrupt constitutive inhibition in the light. Consistent with this prediction, illumination of recombinant expressed Opn7b in cortical pyramidal cells results in increased neuronal activity. In awake mice, light stimulation of Opn7b expressed in pyramidal cells of somatosensory cortex reliably induces generalized epileptiform activity within a short (<10 s) delay after onset of stimulation. Our study demonstrates a reversed mechanism for G protein-coupled receptor control and Opn7b as a tool for controlling neural circuit properties.
Liang Y, Song C, Liu M, et al., 2021, Cortex-Wide Dynamics of Intrinsic Electrical Activities: Propagating Waves and Their Interactions., J Neurosci, Vol: 41, Pages: 3665-3678
Cortical circuits generate patterned activities that reflect intrinsic brain dynamics that lay the foundation for any, including stimuli-evoked, cognition and behavior. However, the spatiotemporal organization properties and principles of this intrinsic activity have only been partially elucidated because of previous poor resolution of experimental data and limited analysis methods. Here we investigated continuous wave patterns in the 0.5-4 Hz (delta band) frequency range on data from high-spatiotemporal resolution optical voltage imaging of the upper cortical layers in anesthetized mice. Waves of population activities propagate in heterogeneous directions to coordinate neuronal activities between different brain regions. The complex wave patterns show characteristics of both stereotypy and variety. The location and type of wave patterns determine the dynamical evolution when different waves interact with each other. Local wave patterns of source, sink, or saddle emerge at preferred spatial locations. Specifically, "source" patterns are predominantly found in cortical regions with low multimodal hierarchy such as the primary somatosensory cortex. Our findings reveal principles that govern the spatiotemporal dynamics of spontaneous cortical activities and associate them with the structural architecture across the cortex.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Intrinsic brain activities, as opposed to external stimulus-evoked responses, have increasingly gained attention, but it remains unclear how these intrinsic activities are spatiotemporally organized at the cortex-wide scale. By taking advantage of the high spatiotemporal resolution of optical voltage imaging, we identified five wave pattern types, and revealed the organization properties of different wave patterns and the dynamical mechanisms when they interact with each other. Moreover, we found a relationship between the emergence probability of local wave patterns and the multimodal structure hierarchy across cortic
Mollinedo-Gajate I, Song C, Knopfel T, 2021, Genetically Encoded Voltage Indicators, OPTOGENETICS: LIGHT-SENSING PROTEINS AND THEIR APPLICATIONS IN NEUROSCIENCE AND BEYOND, 2ND EDITION, Vol: 1293, Pages: 209-224, ISSN: 0065-2598
Fernández-Dueñas V, Morató X, Knöpfel T, et al., 2021, Dynamic Recording of Membrane Potential from Hippocampal Neurons by Using a Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer-Based Voltage Biosensor, Neuromethods, Pages: 523-530
Fluorescence-based biosensors for membrane voltage allow dynamic optical recording of neuronal activity. Interestingly, the development of genetically encoded voltage indicators constitutes a good alternative to classical voltage-sensitive dyes, since they allow overcoming some of the inherent problems (e.g., optical noise, etc.) associated to organic compounds. Here, we show the use of a genetically encoded voltage-sensitive fluorescent protein (VSFP), namely the VSFP2.32. This biosensor contains a mCerulean and Citrine tandem, which can engage in a constitutive fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET) process. We first expressed VSFP2.32 in hippocampal cultured neurons. And, subsequently, we monitored membrane voltage alterations in single neurons by recording (in a real-time mode) VSFP2.32 conformation-mediated FRET changes.
Monakhov MV, Matlashov ME, Colavita M, et al., 2020, Screening and cellular characterization of genetically encoded voltage indicators based on near-infrared fluorescent proteins., ACS Chemical Neuroscience, Vol: 11, Pages: 3523-3531, ISSN: 1948-7193
We developed genetically encoded voltage indicators using a transmembrane voltage-sensing domain and bright near-infrared fluorescent proteins derived from bacterial phytochromes. These new voltage indicators are excited by 640 nm light and emission is measured at 670 nm, allowing imaging in the near-infrared tissue transparency window. The spectral properties of our new indicators permit seamless voltage imaging with simultaneous blue-green light optogenetic actuator activation as well as simultaneous voltage-calcium imaging when paired with green calcium indicators. Iterative optimizations led to a fluorescent probe, here termed nirButterfly, which reliably reports neuronal activities including subthreshold membrane potential depolarization and hyperpolarization as well as spontaneous spiking or electrically- and optogenetically evoked action potentials. This enables largely improved all-optical causal interrogations of physiology.
Quicke P, Howe CL, Song P, et al., 2020, Subcellular resolution 3D light field imaging with genetically encoded voltage indicators, Neurophotonics, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2329-4248
Significance: Light-field microscopy (LFM) enables high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and light efficient volume imaging at fast frame rates. Voltage imaging with genetically encoded voltage indicators (GEVIs) stands to particularly benefit from LFM’s volumetric imaging capability due to high required sampling rates and limited probe brightness and functional sensitivity.Aim: We demonstrate subcellular resolution GEVI light-field imaging in acute mouse brain slices resolving dendritic voltage signals in three spatial dimensions.Approach: We imaged action potential-induced fluorescence transients in mouse brain slices sparsely expressing the GEVI VSFP-Butterfly 1.2 in wide-field microscopy (WFM) and LFM modes. We compared functional signal SNR and localization between different LFM reconstruction approaches and between LFM and WFM.Results: LFM enabled three-dimensional (3-D) localization of action potential-induced fluorescence transients in neuronal somata and dendrites. Nonregularized deconvolution decreased SNR with increased iteration number compared to synthetic refocusing but increased axial and lateral signal localization. SNR was unaffected for LFM compared to WFM.Conclusions: LFM enables 3-D localization of fluorescence transients, therefore eliminating the need for structures to lie in a single focal plane. These results demonstrate LFM’s potential for studying dendritic integration and action potential propagation in three spatial dimensions.
Quicke P, Howe CL, Song P, et al., 2020, Subcellular resolution three-dimensional light-field imaging with genetically encoded voltage indicators, Neurophotonics, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2329-4248
Significance: Light-field microscopy (LFM) enables high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and light efficient volume imaging at fast frame rates. Voltage imaging with genetically encoded voltage indicators (GEVIs) stands to particularly benefit from LFM's volumetric imaging capability due to high required sampling rates and limited probe brightness and functional sensitivity. Aim: We demonstrate subcellular resolution GEVI light-field imaging in acute mouse brain slices resolving dendritic voltage signals in three spatial dimensions. Approach: We imaged action potential-induced fluorescence transients in mouse brain slices sparsely expressing the GEVI VSFP-Butterfly 1.2 in wide-field microscopy (WFM) and LFM modes. We compared functional signal SNR and localization between different LFM reconstruction approaches and between LFM and WFM. Results: LFM enabled three-dimensional (3-D) localization of action potential-induced fluorescence transients in neuronal somata and dendrites. Nonregularized deconvolution decreased SNR with increased iteration number compared to synthetic refocusing but increased axial and lateral signal localization. SNR was unaffected for LFM compared to WFM. Conclusions: LFM enables 3-D localization of fluorescence transients, therefore eliminating the need for structures to lie in a single focal plane. These results demonstrate LFM's potential for studying dendritic integration and action potential propagation in three spatial dimensions.
Ying L, Tahirbegi B, Magness A, et al., 2020, A novel Aβ40 assembly at physiological concentration, Scientific Reports, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2045-2322
Aggregates of amyloid-β (Aβ) are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, but there is no consensus as to either the nature of the toxic molecular complex or the mechanism by which toxic aggregates are produced. We report on a novel feature of amyloid-lipid interactions where discontinuities in the lipid continuum can serve as catalytic centers for a previously unseen microscale aggregation phenomenon. We show that specific lipid membrane conditions rapidly produce long contours of lipid-bound peptide, even at sub-physiological concentrations of Aβ. Using single molecule fluorescence, time-lapse TIRF microscopy and AFM imaging we characterize this phenomenon and identify some exceptional properties of the aggregation pathway which make it a likely contributor to early oligomer and fibril formation, and thus a potential critical mechanism in the etiology of AD. We infer that these amyloidogenic events occur only at areas of high membrane curvature, which suggests a range of possible mechanisms by which accumulated physiological changes may lead to their inception. The speed of the formation is in hours to days, even at 1 nM peptide concentrations. Lipid features of this type may act like an assembly line for monomeric and small oligomeric subunits of Aβ to increase their aggregation states. We conclude that under lipid environmental conditions, where catalytic centers of the observed type are common, key pathological features of AD may arise on a very short timescale under physiological concentration.
Buchborn T, Lyons T, Song C, et al., 2020, The serotonin 2A receptor agonist 25CN-NBOH increases murine heart rate and neck-arterial blood flow in a temperature-dependent manner., Journal of Psychopharmacology, Vol: 34, Pages: 786-794, ISSN: 0269-8811
BACKGROUND: Serotonin 2A receptors, the molecular target of psychedelics, are expressed by neuronal and vascular cells, both of which might contribute to brain haemodynamic characteristics for the psychedelic state. AIM: Aiming for a systemic understanding of psychedelic vasoactivity, here we investigated the effect of N-(2-hydroxybenzyl)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-cyanophenylethylamine - a new-generation agonist with superior serotonin 2A receptor selectivity - on brain-supplying neck-arterial blood flow. METHODS: We recorded core body temperature and employed non-invasive, collar-sensor based pulse oximetry in anesthetised mice to extract parameters of local blood perfusion, oxygen saturation, heart and respiration rate. Hypothesising an overlap between serotonergic pulse- and thermoregulation, recordings were done under physiological and elevated pad temperatures. RESULTS: N-(2-hydroxybenzyl)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-cyanophenylethylamine (1.5 mg/kg, subcutaneous) significantly increased the frequency of heart beats accompanied by a slight elevation of neck-arterial blood flow. Increasing the animal-supporting heat-pad temperature from 37°C to 41°C enhanced the drug's effect on blood flow while counteracting tachycardia. Additionally, N-(2-hydroxybenzyl)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-cyanophenylethylamine promoted bradypnea, which, like tachycardia, quickly reversed at the elevated pad temperature. The interrelatedness of N-(2-hydroxybenzyl)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-cyanophenylethylamine's respiro-cardiovascular effects and thermoregulation was further corroborated by the drug selectively increasing the core body temperature at the elevated pad temperature. Arterial oxygen saturation was not affected by N-(2-hydroxybenzyl)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-cyanophenylethylamine at either temperature. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings imply that selective serotonin 2A receptor activation modulates systemic cardiovascular functioning in orchestration with thermoregulation and with immediate relevance to brain-imminent
Whiteley I, Song C, Knöpfel T, et al., 2020, Optical readout of voltage indicators using an improved targeted direct patterning concept.
An improved method for the optical readout of voltage indicators is presented, whereby fluorescence from the whole surface of a neuron is integrated onto a single detector, dramatically increasing the recording bandwidth over conventional techniques.
Knopfel T, Sweeney Y, Radulescu CI, et al., 2019, Audio-visual experience strengthens multisensory assemblies in adult mouse visual cortex, Nature Communications, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2041-1723
We experience the world through multiple senses simultaneously. To better understand mechanisms of multisensory processing we ask whether inputs from two senses (auditory and visual) can interact and drive plasticity in neural-circuits of the primary visual cortex (V1). Using genetically-encoded voltage and calcium indicators, we find coincident audio-visual experience modifies both the supra and subthreshold response properties of neurons in L2/3 of mouse V1. Specifically, we find that after audio-visual pairing, a subset of multimodal neurons develops enhanced auditory responses to the paired auditory stimulus. This cross-modal plasticity persists over days and is reflected in the strengthening of small functional networks of L2/3 neurons. We find V1 processes coincident auditory and visual events by strengthening functional associations between feature specific assemblies of multimodal neurons during bouts of sensory driven co-activity, leaving a trace of multisensory experience in the cortical network.
Knöpfel T, Song C, 2019, Optical voltage imaging in neurons: moving from technology development to practical tool, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Vol: 20, Pages: 719-727, ISSN: 1471-0048
A central goal in neuroscience is to determine how the brain’s neuronal circuits generate perception, cognition and emotions and how these lead to appropriate behavioural actions. A methodological platform based on genetically encoded voltage indicators (GEVIs) that enables the monitoring of large-scale circuit dynamics has brought us closer to this ambitious goal. This Review provides an update on the current state of the art and the prospects of emerging optical GEVI imaging technologies.
Mollinedo-Gajate I, Song C, Knöpfel T, 2019, Genetically encoded fluorescent calcium and voltage indicators, Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, Publisher: Springer Verlag
Fluorescent probes that indicate biologically important quantities are widely used for many different types of biological experiments across life sciences. During recent years, limitations of small molecule-based indicators have been overcome by the development of genetically encoded indicators. Here we focus on fluorescent calcium and voltage indicators and point to their applications mainly in neurosciences.
Liu M, Song C, Liang Y, et al., 2019, Assessing spatiotemporal variability of brain spontaneous activity by multiscale entropy and functional connectivity, NeuroImage, Vol: 198, Pages: 198-220, ISSN: 1053-8119
Brain signaling occurs across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, and analysis of brain signal variability and synchrony has attracted recent attention as markers of intelligence, cognitive states, and brain disorders. However, current technologies to measure brain signals in humans have limited resolutions either in space or in time and cannot fully capture spatiotemporal variability, leaving it untested whether temporal variability and spatiotemporal synchrony are valid and reliable proxy of spatiotemporal variability in vivo. Here we used optical voltage imaging in mice under anesthesia and wakefulness to monitor cortical voltage activity at both high spatial and temporal resolutions to investigate functional connectivity (FC, a measure of spatiotemporal synchronization), Multi-Scale Entropy (MSE, a measure of temporal variability), and their relationships to Regional Entropy (RE, a measure of spatiotemporal variability). We observed that across cortical space, MSE pattern can largely explain RE pattern at small and large temporal scales with high positive and negative correlation respectively, while FC pattern strongly negatively associated with RE pattern. The time course of FC and small scale MSE tightly followed that of RE, while large scale MSE was more loosely coupled to RE. fMRI and EEG data simulated by reducing spatiotemporal resolution of the voltage imaging data or considering hemodynamics yielded MSE and FC measures that still contained information about RE based on the high resolution voltage imaging data. This suggested that MSE and FC could still be effective measures to capture spatiotemporal variability under limitation of imaging modalities applicable to human subjects. Our results support the notion that FC and MSE are effective biomarkers for brain states, and provide a promising viewpoint to unify these two principal domains in human brain data analysis.
Quicke P, Song C, McKimm EJ, et al., 2019, Corrigendum: Single-neuron level one-photon voltage imaging with sparsely targeted genetically encoded voltage indicators, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1662-5102
Voltage imaging of many neurons simultaneously at single-cell resolution is hampered bythe difficulty of detecting small voltage signals from overlapping neuronal processes inneural tissue. Recent advances in genetically encoded voltage indicator (GEVI) imaginghave shown single-cell resolution optical voltage recordings in intact tissue throughimaging naturally sparse cell classes, sparse viral expression, soma restricted expression,advanced optical systems, or a combination of these. Widespread sparse and strongtransgenic GEVI expression would enable straightforward optical access to a denselyoccurring cell type, such as cortical pyramidal cells. Here we demonstrate that a recentlydescribed sparse transgenic expression strategy can enable single-cell resolution voltageimaging of cortical pyramidal cells in intact brain tissue without restricting expression tothe soma. We also quantify the functional crosstalk in brain tissue and discuss optimalimaging rates to inform future GEVI experimental design.
Agrawal V, Chakraborty S, Knöpfel T, et al., 2019, Scale-change symmetry in the rules governing neural systems, iScience, Vol: 12, Pages: 121-131, ISSN: 2589-0042
Similar universal phenomena can emerge in different complex systems when those systems share a common symmetry in their governing laws. In physical systems operating near a critical phase transition, the governing physical laws obey a fractal symmetry; they are the same whether considered at fine or coarse scales. This scale-change symmetry is responsible for universal critical phenomena found across diverse systems. Experiments suggest that the cerebral cortex can also operate near a critical phase transition. Thus we hypothesize that the laws governing cortical dynamics may obey scale-change symmetry. Here we develop a practical approach to test this hypothesis. We confirm, using two different computational models, that neural dynamical laws exhibit scale-change symmetry near a dynamical phase transition. Moreover, we show that as a mouse awakens from anesthesia, scale-change symmetry emerges. Scale-change symmetry of the rules governing cortical dynamics may explain observations of similar critical phenomena across diverse neural systems.
Quicke P, Song C, McKimm EJ, et al., 2019, Single-neuron level one-photon voltage imaging with sparsely targeted genetically encoded voltage indicators, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1662-5102
Voltage imaging of many neurons simultaneously at single-cell resolution is hampered by the difficulty of detecting small voltage signals from overlapping neuronal processes in neural tissue. Recent advances in genetically encoded voltage indicator (GEVI) imaging have shown single-cell resolution optical voltage recordings in intact tissue through imaging naturally sparse cell classes, sparse viral expression, soma restricted expression, advanced optical systems, or a combination of these. Widespread sparse and strong transgenic GEVI expression would enable straightforward optical access to a densely occurring cell type, such as cortical pyramidal cells. Here we demonstrate that a recently described sparse transgenic expression strategy can enable single-cell resolution voltage imaging of cortical pyramidal cells in intact brain tissue without restricting expression to the soma. We also quantify the functional crosstalk in brain tissue and discuss optimal imaging rates to inform future GEVI experimental design.
Quicke P, Howe CL, Song P, et al., 2019, Calculation of high numerical aperture lightfield microscope point spread functions
3D deconvolution of lightfield images enables high resolution reconstruction of sample volumes. Previous point spread function calculations assume low to moderate NA objectives. Here we present a simple vectorial calculation valid for high NA objectives.
van Opbergen CJM, Koopman CD, Kok BJM, et al., 2018, Optogenetic sensors in the zebrafish heart: a novel in vivo electrophysiological tool to study cardiac arrhythmogenesis, THERANOSTICS, Vol: 8, Pages: 4750-4764, ISSN: 1838-7640
Cardiac arrhythmias are among the most challenging human disorders to diagnose and treat due to their complex underlying pathophysiology. Suitable experimental animal models are needed to study the mechanisms causative for cardiac arrhythmogenesis. To enable in vivo analysis of cardiac cellular electrophysiology with a high spatial and temporal resolution, we generated and carefully validated two zebrafish models, one expressing an optogenetic voltage indicator (chimeric VSFP-butterfly CY) and the other a genetically encoded calcium indicator (GCaMP6f) in the heart.Methods: High-speed epifluorescence microscopy was used to image chimeric VSFP-butterfly CY and GCaMP6f in the embryonic zebrafish heart, providing information about the spatiotemporal patterning of electrical activation, action potential configuration and intracellular Ca2+ dynamics. Plotting VSFP or GCaMP6f signals on a line along the myocardial wall over time facilitated the visualization and analysis of electrical impulse propagation throughout the heart. Administration of drugs targeting the sympathetic nervous system or cardiac ion channels was used to validate sensitivity and kinetics of both zebrafish sensor lines. Using the same microscope setup, we imaged transparent juvenile casper fish expressing GCaMP6f, demonstrating the feasibility of imaging cardiac optogenetic sensors at later stages of development.Results: Isoproterenol slightly increased heart rate, diastolic Ca2+ levels and Ca2+ transient amplitudes, whereas propranolol caused a profound decrease in heart rate and Ca2+ transient parameters in VSFP-Butterfly and GCaMP6f embryonic fish. Ikr blocker E-4031 decreased heart rate and increased action potential duration in VSFP-Butterfly fish. ICa,L blocker nifedipine caused total blockade of Ca2+ transients in GCaMP6f fish and a reduced heart rate, altered ventricular action potential duration and disrupted atrial-ventricular electrical conduction in VSFP-Butterfly fish. Imaging of juvenile
Song C, Piscopo DM, Niell CM, et al., 2018, Cortical signatures of wakeful somatosensory processing, Scientific Reports, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2045-2322
Sensory inputs carry critical information for the survival of an organism. In mice, tactile information conveyed by the whiskers is of high behavioural relevance, and is broadcasted across cortical areas beyond the primary somatosensory cortex. Mesoscopic voltage sensitive dye imaging (VSDI) of cortical population response to whisker stimulations has shown that seemingly ‘simple’ sensory stimuli can have extended impact on cortical circuit dynamics. Here we took advantage of genetically encoded voltage indicators (GEVIs) that allow for cell type-specific monitoring of population voltage dynamics in a chronic dual-hemisphere transcranial windowed mouse preparation to directly compare the cortex-wide broadcasting of sensory information in wakening (lightly anesthetized to sedated) and awake mice. Somatosensory-evoked cortex-wide dynamics is altered across brain states, with anatomically sequential hyperpolarising activity observed in the awake cortex. GEVI imaging revealed cortical activity maps with increased specificity, high spatial coverage, and at the timescale of cortical information processing.
Quicke P, Reynolds S, Neil M, et al., 2018, High speed functional imaging with source localized multifocal two-photon microscopy, Biomedical Optics Express, Vol: 9, Pages: 3678-3693, ISSN: 2156-7085
Multifocal two-photon microscopy (MTPM) increases imaging speed over single-focus scanning by parallelizing fluorescence excitation. The imaged fluorescence’s susceptibility to crosstalk, however, severely degrades contrast in scattering tissue. Here we present a source-localized MTPM scheme optimized for high speed functional fluorescence imaging in scattering mammalian brain tissue. A rastered line array of beamlets excites fluorescence imaged with a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) camera. We mitigate scattering-induced crosstalk by temporally oversampling the rastered image, generating grouped images with structured illumination, and applying Richardson-Lucy deconvolution to reassign scattered photons. Single images are then retrieved with a maximum intensity projection through the deconvolved image groups. This method increased image contrast at depths up to 112 μm in scattering brain tissue and reduced functional crosstalk between pixels during neuronal calcium imaging. Source-localization did not affect signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in densely labeled tissue under our experimental conditions. SNR decreased at low frame rates in sparsely labeled tissue, with no effect at frame rates above 50 Hz. Our non-descanned source-localized MTPM system enables high SNR, 100 Hz capture of fluorescence transients in scattering brain, increasing the scope of MTPM to faster and smaller functional signals.
Knoepfel T, 2018, Neurotechnology to address big questions, Science, Vol: 361, Pages: 328-329, ISSN: 0036-8075
Emotions, cognition, and consciousness emerge with the processing of neuronal information provided by memory readouts and senses. How this actually works seemed for a long time to be a question too big to ask. Advances in neuroscience have always been driven by methodological inventions, and current efforts to develop neurotechnologies are motivated by experimental strategies, including analytical dissection (that is, inverse engineering), large-scale interrogation, and synthetic reconstruction of the mammalian cerebral cortex (which is important for higher cognitive functions) and connected brain structures (1, 2). As part of this neurotechnological endeavor, mapping the transcriptome of neurons with single-cell resolution and with known three-dimensional tissue localization has been a long-sought enabling technology (3). On page 380 of this issue, Wang et al. (4) present the technology and workflow to access transcriptional states of more than 100 genes from up to 30,000 cells in a cubic millimeter of cortical tissue. This advanced methodology will facilitate studies that improve our understanding of the neuronal hardware and, when combined with other emerging neurotechnologies, will enable big questions in neuroscience to be addressed.
Fagerholm ED, Dinov M, Knopfel T, et al., 2018, The characteristic patterns of neuronal avalanches in mice under anesthesia and at rest: An investigation using constrained artificial neural networks, PLOS ONE, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1932-6203
Van Opbergen CJM, Koopman CD, Vos MA, et al., 2018, Optogenetic sensors in zebrafish hearts as novel in vivo electrophysiological readout tools to study cardiac arrhythmogenesis, 5th Congress of the ESC-Council-on-Basic-Cardiovascular-Science on Frontiers in Cardio Vascular Biology, Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS, Pages: S81-S81, ISSN: 0008-6363
Buchborn T, Lyons T, Knopfel T, 2018, Tolerance and Tachyphylaxis to Head Twitches Induced by the 5-HT2A Agonist 25CN-NBOH in Mice, Frontiers in Pharmacology, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1663-9812
The serotonin (5-HT) 2A receptor is the primary molecular target of serotonergic hallucinogens, which trigger large-scale perturbations of the cortex. Our understanding of how 5-HT2A activation may cause the effects of hallucinogens has been hampered by the receptor unselectivity of most of the drugs of this class. Here we used 25CN-NBOH (N-(2-hydroxybenzyl)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-cyanophenylethylamine), a newly developed selective 5-HT2A agonist, and tested it with regard to the head-twitch-response (HTR) model of 5-HT2A activity and effects on locomotion. 25CN-NBOH evoked HTRs with an inverted u-shape-like dose-response curve and highest efficacy at 1.5 mg/kg, i.p. HTR occurrence peaked within 5 min after agonist injection, and exponentially decreased to half-maximal frequency at ~11 min. Thorough habituation to the experimental procedures (including handling, saline injection, and exposure to the observational boxes 1 day before the experiment) facilitated the animals' response to 25CN-NBOH. 25CN-NBOH (1.5 mg/kg, i.p.) induced HTRs were blocked by the 5-HT2A antagonist ketanserin (0.75 mg/kg, 30 min pre), but not by the 5-HT2C antagonist SB-242084 (0.5 mg/kg, i.p., 30 min pre). SB-242084 instead slightly increased the number of HTRs occurring at a 3.0-mg/kg dose of the agonist. Apart from HTR induction, 25CN-NBOH also modestly increased locomotor activity of the mice. Repeated once-per-day injections (1.5 mg/kg, i.p.) led to reduced occurrence of 25CN-NBOH induced HTRs. This intermediate tolerance was augmented when a second (higher) dose of the drug (3.0 mg/kg) was interspersed. Short-interval tolerance (i.e., tachyphylaxis) was observed when the drug was injected twice at intervals of 1.0 and 1.5 h at either dose tested (1.5 mg/kg and 0.75 mg/kg, respectively). Inducing ketanserin-sensitive HTRs, which are dependent on environmental valences and which show signs of tachyphylaxis and tolerance, 25CN-NBOH shares striking features common to serotonergic hallucinogens. Gi
Tahirbegi B, Magness AJ, Boillat A, et al., 2018, Probing synaptic amyloid-beta aggregation promoted by copper release, 62nd Annual Meeting of the Biophysical-Society, Publisher: Biophysical Society, Pages: 430A-430A, ISSN: 0006-3495
Whether or not the metal ions released during synaptic transmission induce amyloid-beta oligomer formation in the vicinity of synapses is a central question pertinent to the molecular mechanism of Alzheimer's disease. Recently, through a combination of experimental kinetics studies and coupled reaction-diffusion simulations, we predicted that Cu(II) rather than Zn(II) plays an important role in the very early stages (i.e., dimer formation) of Aβ aggregation in the synapse. Single molecule photobleaching analysis is a powerful tool to determine the stoichiometry of amyloid-beta oligomers which enables us to examine the time course of small amyloid-beta oligomer formation in solution, immobilised to a solid-phase substrate or artificial lipid membrane, and in live neurons in the presence of Cu(II). Preliminary results indicate that small amyloid-beta oligomers can be locked in their oligomeric state without dissociation on a poly-lysine coated surface and that Cu(II) increases the diversity and abundance of amyloid-beta oligomers.
Johnston CM, Rog-Zielinska EA, Wulfers EM, et al., 2017, Optogenetic targeting of cardiac myocytes and non-myocytes: tools, challenges and utility, Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Vol: 130, Pages: 140-149, ISSN: 0079-6107
In optogenetics, light-activated proteins are used to monitor and modulate cellular behaviour with light. Combining genetic targeting of distinct cellular populations with defined patterns of optical stimulation enables one to study specific cell classes in complex biological tissues. In the current study we attempted to investigate the functional relevance of heterocellular electrotonic coupling in cardiac tissue in situ. In order to do that, we used a Cre-Lox approach to express the light-gated cation channel Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) specifically in either cardiac myocytes or non-myocytes. Despite high specificity when using the same Cre driver lines in a previous study in combination with a different optogenetic probe, we found patchy off-target ChR2 expression in cryo-sections and extended z-stack imaging through the ventricular wall of hearts cleared using CLARITY. Based on immunohistochemical analysis, single-cell electrophysiological recordings and whole-genome sequencing, we reason that non-specificity is caused on the Cre recombination level. Our study highlights the importance of careful design and validation of the Cre recombination targets for reliable cell class specific expression of optogenetic tools.
Koopman CD, Zimmermann WH, Knopfel T, et al., 2017, Cardiac optogenetics: using light to monitor cardiac physiology, Basic Research in Cardiology, Vol: 112, ISSN: 0300-8428
Our current understanding of cardiac excitation and its coupling to contraction is largely based on ex vivo studies utilising fluorescent organic dyes to assess cardiac action potentials and signal transduction. Recent advances in optogenetic sensors open exciting new possibilities for cardiac research and allow us to answer research questions that cannot be addressed using the classic organic dyes. Especially thrilling is the possibility to use optogenetic sensors to record parameters of cardiac excitation and contraction in vivo. In addition, optogenetics provide a high spatial resolution, as sensors can be coupled to motifs and targeted to specific cell types and subcellular domains of the heart. In this review, we will give a comprehensive overview of relevant optogenetic sensors, how they can be utilised in cardiac research and how they have been applied in cardiac research up to now.
Quicke P, Neil M, Knopfel T, et al., 2017, Source-Localized Multifocal Two-Photon Microscopy for High-Speed Functional Imaging, 71st Annual Meeting of the Society-of-General-Physiologists (SGP) on Optical Revolution in Physiology - From Membrane to Brain, Publisher: ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, Pages: 13A-14A, ISSN: 0022-1295
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