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5 Publications

Showing 1-5 of 5 results
07/10/19 | Imaging striatal dopamine release using a nongenetically encoded near infrared fluorescent catecholamine nanosensor.
Beyene AG, Delevich K, Del Bonis-O’Donnell JT, Piekarski DJ, Lin WC, Thomas AW, Yang SJ, Kosillo P, Yang D, Prounis GS, Wilbrecht L, Landry MP
Science Advances. 2019 Jul 10;5(7):eaaw3108. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw3108

Neuromodulation plays a critical role in brain function in both health and disease, and new tools that capture neuromodulation with high spatial and temporal resolution are needed. Here, we introduce a synthetic catecholamine nanosensor with fluorescent emission in the near infrared range (1000–1300 nm), near infrared catecholamine nanosensor (nIRCat). We demonstrate that nIRCats can be used to measure electrically and optogenetically evoked dopamine release in brain tissue, revealing hotspots with a median size of 2 µm. We also demonstrated that nIRCats are compatible with dopamine pharmacology and show D2 autoreceptor modulation of evoked dopamine release, which varied as a function of initial release magnitude at different hotspots. Together, our data demonstrate that nIRCats and other nanosensors of this class can serve as versatile synthetic optical tools to monitor neuromodulatory neurotransmitter release with high spatial resolution.

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11/14/18 | Ultralarge modulation of fluorescence by neuromodulators in carbon nanotubes functionalized with self-assembled oligonucleotide rings.
Beyene AG, Alizadehmojarad AA, Dorlhiac G, Goh N, Streets AM, Král P, Vuković L, Landry MP
Nano Letters. 2018 Nov 14;18(11):6995-7003. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b02937

Noncovalent interactions between single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) oligonucleotides and single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have provided a unique class of tunable chemistries for a variety of applications. However, mechanistic insight into both the photophysical and intermolecular phenomena underlying their utility is lacking, which results in obligate heuristic approaches for producing ssDNA-SWNT based technologies. In this work, we present an ultrasensitive "turn-on" nanosensor for neuromodulators dopamine and norepinephrine with strong relative change in fluorescence intensity (Δ F/ F) of up to 3500%, a signal appropriate for in vivo neuroimaging, and uncover the photophysical principles and intermolecular interactions that govern the molecular recognition and fluorescence modulation of this nanosensor synthesized from the spontaneous self-assembly of (GT) ssDNA rings on SWNTs. The fluorescence modulation of the ssDNA-SWNT conjugate is shown to exhibit remarkable sensitivity to the ssDNA sequence chemistry, length, and surface density, providing a set of parameters with which to tune nanosensor dynamic range, analyte selectivity and strength of fluorescence turn-on. We employ classical and quantum mechanical molecular dynamics simulations to rationalize our experimental findings. Calculations show that (GT) ssDNA form ordered rings around (9,4) SWNTs, inducing periodic surface potentials that modulate exciton recombination lifetimes. Further evidence is presented to elucidate how dopamine analyte binding modulates SWNT fluorescence. We discuss the implications of our findings for SWNT-based molecular imaging applications.

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11/13/18 | New optical probes bring dopamine to light.
Beyene AG, Delevich K, Yang SJ, Landry MP
Biochemistry. 2018 Nov 13;57(45):6379-6381. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.8b00883

Chemical signaling between neurons in the brain can be divided into two major categories: fast synaptic transmission and neuromodulation. Fast synaptic transmission, mediated by amino acids such as glutamate and GABA, occurs on millisecond time scales and results in the influx of ions through ligand-gated ion channels on postsynaptic neurons (Figure 1A). Electrophysiological and optical imaging tools, including genetically encoded voltage indicators, have enabled neuroscientists to link cause (neurotransmitter release) and effect (membrane polarization) of synaptic transmission in time and space. Unlike classical neurotransmitters, neuromodulators do not produce immediate electrical effects that excite or inhibit target neurons. Instead, neuromodulators tune the intrinsic or synaptic properties of neurons, most commonly through interaction with G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) (Figure 1B). Neuromodulators can escape the synaptic cleft and diffuse broadly, allowing them to influence the activity of many neurons in a state-dependent manner. Therefore, the spatial component of neuromodulator flux is fundamentally important. However, the temporal and/or spatial limitations of techniques classically used to study neuromodulation, such as microdialysis and fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV), make it difficult to interpret how neuromodulator release affects the plasticity or function of target neuronal populations on a moment-to-moment basis. Therefore, tools that can detect neuromodulators with high spatiotemporal resolution are critical for understanding their impact on neural computations that control behavior in health and disease.

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10/18/17 | Stochastic simulation of dopamine neuromodulation for implementation of fluorescent neurochemical probes in the striatal extracellular space.
Beyene AG, McFarlane IR, Pinals RL, Landry MP
ACS Chemical Neuroscience. 2017 Oct 18;8(10):2275-2289. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.7b00193

Imaging the dynamic behavior of neuromodulatory neurotransmitters in the extracelluar space that arise from individual quantal release events would constitute a major advance in neurochemical imaging. Spatial and temporal resolution of these highly stochastic neuromodulatory events requires concurrent advances in the chemical development of optical nanosensors selective for neuromodulators in concert with advances in imaging methodologies to capture millisecond neurotransmitter release. Herein, we develop and implement a stochastic model to describe dopamine dynamics in the extracellular space (ECS) of the brain dorsal striatum to guide the design and implementation of fluorescent neurochemical probes that record neurotransmitter dynamics in the ECS. Our model is developed from first-principles and simulates release, diffusion, and reuptake of dopamine in a 3D simulation volume of striatal tissue. We find that in vivo imaging of neuromodulation requires simultaneous optimization of dopamine nanosensor reversibility and sensitivity: dopamine imaging in the striatum or nucleus accumbens requires nanosensors with an optimal dopamine dissociation constant (K) of 1 μM, whereas Ks above 10 μM are required for dopamine imaging in the prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, as a result of the probabilistic nature of dopamine terminal activity in the striatum, our model reveals that imaging frame rates of 20 Hz are optimal for recording temporally resolved dopamine release events. Our work provides a modeling platform to probe how complex neuromodulatory processes can be studied with fluorescent nanosensors and enables direct evaluation of nanosensor chemistry and imaging hardware parameters. Our stochastic model is generic for evaluating fluorescent neurotransmission probes, and is broadly applicable to the design of other neurotransmitter fluorophores and their optimization for implementation in vivo.

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08/15/17 | Dual near-Infrared two-photon microscopy for deep-tissue dopamine nanosensor imaging.
Bonis-O'Donnell JT, Page RH, Beyene AG, Tindall EG, McFarlane IR, Landry MP
Advanced Functional Materials. 2017 August 15;27(39):1702112. doi: 10.1002/adfm.v27.3910.1002/adfm.201702112

A key limitation for achieving deep imaging in biological structures lies in photon absorption and scattering leading to attenuation of fluorescence. In particular, neurotransmitter imaging is challenging in the biologically relevant context of the intact brain for which photons must traverse the cranium, skin, and bone. Thus, fluorescence imaging is limited to the surface cortical layers of the brain, only achievable with craniotomy. Herein, this study describes optimal excitation and emission wavelengths for through‐cranium imaging, and demonstrates that near‐infrared emissive nanosensors can be photoexcited using a two‐photon 1560 nm excitation source. Dopamine‐sensitive nanosensors can undergo two‐photon excitation, and provide chirality‐dependent responses selective for dopamine with fluorescent turn‐on responses varying between 20% and 350%. The two‐photon absorption cross‐section and quantum yield of dopamine nanosensors are further calculated, and a two‐photon power law relationship for the nanosensor excitation process is confirmed. Finally, the improved image quality of the nanosensors embedded 2‐mm‐deep into a brain‐mimetic tissue phantom is shown, whereby one‐photon excitation yields 42% scattering, in contrast to 4% scattering when the same object is imaged under two‐photon excitation. The approach overcomes traditional limitations in deep‐tissue fluorescence microscopy, and can enable neurotransmitter imaging in the biologically relevant milieu of the intact and living brain.

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