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Dudman Lab / Publications
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29 Publications

Showing 1-10 of 29 results
12/31/17 | A topographic axis of transcriptional identity in thalamus.
Phillips JW, Schulman A, Hara E, Liu C, Shields BC, Korff W, Lemire A, Dudman JT, Nelson SB, Hantman AW
bioRxiv. 2017 Dec 31:241315. doi: 10.1101/241315

A fundamental goal in neuroscience is to uncover common principles by which different modalities of information are processed. In the mammalian brain, thalamus acts as the essential hub for forebrain circuits handling inputs from sensory, motor, limbic, and cognitive pathways. Whether thalamus imposes common transformations on each of these modalities is unknown. Molecular characterization offers a principled approach to revealing the organization of thalamus. Using near-comprehensive and projection-specific transcriptomic sequencing, we found that almost all thalamic nuclei fit into one of three profiles. These profiles lie on a single axis of genetic variance which is aligned with the mediolateral spatial axis of thalamus. Genes defining this axis of variance include receptors and ion channels, providing a systematic diversification of input/output transformations across the topography of thalamus. Single cell transcriptional profiling revealed graded heterogeneity within individual thalamic nuclei, demonstrating that a spectrum of cell types and potentially diverse input/output transforms exist within a given thalamic nucleus. Together, our data argue for an archetypal organization of pathways serving diverse input modalities, and provides a comprehensive organizational scheme for thalamus.

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12/22/17 | Emergence of reward expectation signals in identified dopamine neurons.
Coddington LT, Dudman JT
bioRxiv. 2017 Dec 22:. doi: 10.1101/238881

Coherent control of purposive actions emerges from the coordination of multiple brain circuits during learning. Dissociable brain circuits and cell-types are thought to preferentially participate in distinct learning mechanisms. For example, the activity of midbrain dopamine (mDA) neurons is proposed to primarily, or even exclusively, reflect reward prediction error signals in well-trained animals. To study the specific contribution of individual circuits requires observing changes before tight functional coordination is achieved. However, little is known about the detailed timing of the emergence of reward-related representations in dopaminergic neurons. Here we recorded activity of identified dopaminergic neurons as naive mice learned a novel stimulus-reward association. We found that at early stages of learning mDA neuron activity reflected both external (sensory) and internal (action initiation) causes of reward expectation. The increasingly precise correlation of action initiation with sensory stimuli rather than an evaluation of outcomes governed mDA neuron activity. Thus, our data demonstrate that mDA neuron activity early in learning does not reflect errors, but is more akin to a Hebbian learning signal - providing new insight into a critical computation in a highly conserved, essential learning circuit.

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06/29/17 | Desensitized D2 autoreceptors are resistant to trafficking.
Robinson BG, Bunzow JR, Grimm JB, Lavis LD, Dudman JT, Brown J, Neve KA, Williams JT
Scientific Reports. 2017 Jun 29;7(1):4379. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04728-z

Dendritic release of dopamine activates dopamine D2 autoreceptors, which are inhibitory G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), to decrease the excitability of dopamine neurons. This study used tagged D2 receptors to identify the localization and distribution of these receptors in living midbrain dopamine neurons. GFP-tagged D2 receptors were found to be unevenly clustered on the soma and dendrites of dopamine neurons within the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). Physiological signaling and desensitization of the tagged receptors were not different from wild type receptors. Unexpectedly, upon desensitization the tagged D2 receptors were not internalized. When tagged D2 receptors were expressed in locus coeruleus neurons, a desensitizing protocol induced significant internalization. Likewise, when tagged µ-opioid receptors were expressed in dopamine neurons they too were internalized. The distribution and lack of agonist-induced internalization of D2 receptors on dopamine neurons indicate a purposefully regulated localization of these receptors.

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04/07/17 | Deconstructing behavioral neuropharmacology with cellular specificity.
Shields BC, Kahuno E, Kim C, Apostolides PF, Brown J, Lindo S, Mensh BD, Dudman JT, Lavis LD, Tadross MR
Science (New York, N.Y.). 2017 Apr 07;356(6333):. doi: 10.1126/science.aaj2161

Behavior has molecular, cellular, and circuit determinants. However, because many proteins are broadly expressed, their acute manipulation within defined cells has been difficult. Here, we combined the speed and molecular specificity of pharmacology with the cell type specificity of genetic tools. DART (drugs acutely restricted by tethering) is a technique that rapidly localizes drugs to the surface of defined cells, without prior modification of the native target. We first developed an AMPAR antagonist DART, with validation in cultured neuronal assays, in slices of mouse dorsal striatum, and in behaving mice. In parkinsonian animals, motor deficits were causally attributed to AMPARs in indirect spiny projection neurons (iSPNs) and to excess phasic firing of tonically active interneurons (TANs). Together, iSPNs and TANs (i.e., D2 cells) drove akinesia, whereas movement execution deficits reflected the ratio of AMPARs in D2 versus D1 cells. Finally, we designed a muscarinic antagonist DART in one iteration, demonstrating applicability of the method to diverse targets.

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10/19/16 | A designer AAV variant permits efficient retrograde access to projection neurons.
Tervo DG, Hwang B, Viswanathan S, Gaj T, Lavzin M, Ritola KD, Lindo S, Michael S, Kuleshova E, Ojala D, Huang C, Gerfen CR, Schiller J, Dudman JT, Hantman AW, Looger LL, Schaffer DV, Karpova AY
Neuron. 2016 Oct 19;92(2):372-82. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.09.021

Efficient retrograde access to projection neurons for the delivery of sensors and effectors constitutes an important and enabling capability for neural circuit dissection. Such an approach would also be useful for gene therapy, including the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by pathological spread through functionally connected and highly distributed networks. Viral vectors, in particular, are powerful gene delivery vehicles for the nervous system, but all available tools suffer from inefficient retrograde transport or limited clinical potential. To address this need, we applied in vivo directed evolution to engineer potent retrograde functionality into the capsid of adeno-associated virus (AAV), a vector that has shown promise in neuroscience research and the clinic. A newly evolved variant, rAAV2-retro, permits robust retrograde access to projection neurons with efficiency comparable to classical synthetic retrograde tracers and enables sufficient sensor/effector expression for functional circuit interrogation and in vivo genome editing in targeted neuronal populations. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

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05/02/16 | Opponent and bidirectional control of movement velocity in the basal ganglia.
Yttri EA, Dudman JT
Nature. 2016 May 2:. doi: 10.1038/nature17639

For goal-directed behaviour it is critical that we can both select the appropriate action and learn to modify the underlying movements (for example, the pitch of a note or velocity of a reach) to improve outcomes. The basal ganglia are a critical nexus where circuits necessary for the production of behaviour, such as the neocortex and thalamus, are integrated with reward signalling to reinforce successful, purposive actions. The dorsal striatum, a major input structure of basal ganglia, is composed of two opponent pathways, direct and indirect, thought to select actions that elicit positive outcomes and suppress actions that do not, respectively. Activity-dependent plasticity modulated by reward is thought to be sufficient for selecting actions in the striatum. Although perturbations of basal ganglia function produce profound changes in movement, it remains unknown whether activity-dependent plasticity is sufficient to produce learned changes in movement kinematics, such as velocity. Here we use cell-type-specific stimulation in mice delivered in closed loop during movement to demonstrate that activity in either the direct or indirect pathway is sufficient to produce specific and sustained increases or decreases in velocity, without affecting action selection or motivation. These behavioural changes were a form of learning that accumulated over trials, persisted after the cessation of stimulation, and were abolished in the presence of dopamine antagonists. Our results reveal that the direct and indirect pathways can each bidirectionally control movement velocity, demonstrating unprecedented specificity and flexibility in the control of volition by the basal ganglia.

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03/21/16 | The basal ganglia: from motor commands to the control of vigor.
Dudman JT, Krakauer JW
Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 2016 Mar 21;37:158-66. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2016.02.005

Vertebrates are remarkable for their ability to select and execute goal-directed actions: motor skills critical for thriving in complex, competitive environments. A key aspect of a motor skill is the ability to execute its component movements over a range of speeds, amplitudes and frequencies (vigor). Recent work has indicated that a subcortical circuit, the basal ganglia, is a critical determinant of movement vigor in rodents and primates. We propose that the basal ganglia evolved from a circuit that in lower vertebrates and some mammals is sufficient to directly command simple or stereotyped movements to one that indirectly controls the vigor of goal-directed movements. The implications of a dual role of the basal ganglia in the control of vigor and response to reward are also discussed.

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11/01/15 | Minimally invasive microendoscopy system for in vivo functional imaging of deep nuclei in the mouse brain.
Bocarsly ME, Jiang W, Wang C, Dudman JT, Ji N, Aponte Y
Biomedical Optics Express. 2015 Nov 1;6(11):4546-56. doi: 10.1364/BOE.6.004546

The ability to image neurons anywhere in the mammalian brain is a major goal of optical microscopy. Here we describe a minimally invasive microendoscopy system for studying the morphology and function of neurons at depth. Utilizing a guide cannula with an ultrathin wall, we demonstrated in vivo two-photon fluorescence imaging of deeply buried nuclei such as the striatum (2.5 mm depth), substantia nigra (4.4 mm depth) and lateral hypothalamus (5.0 mm depth) in mouse brain. We reported, for the first time, the observation of neuronal activity with subcellular resolution in the lateral hypothalamus and substantia nigra of head-fixed awake mice.

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09/10/15 | Dopamine is required for the neural representation and control of movement vigor.
Panigrahi B, Martin KA, Li Y, Graves AR, Vollmer A, Olson L, Mensh BD, Karpova AY, Dudman JT
Cell. 2015 Sep 10;162(6):1418-30. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.08.014

Progressive depletion of midbrain dopamine neurons (PDD) is associated with deficits in the initiation, speed, and fluidity of voluntary movement. Models of basal ganglia function focus on initiation deficits; however, it is unclear how they account for deficits in the speed or amplitude of movement (vigor). Using an effort-based operant conditioning task for head-fixed mice, we discovered distinct functional classes of neurons in the dorsal striatum that represent movement vigor. Mice with PDD exhibited a progressive reduction in vigor, along with a selective impairment of its neural representation in striatum. Restoration of dopaminergic tone with a synthetic precursor ameliorated deficits in movement vigor and its neural representation, while suppression of striatal activity during movement was sufficient to reduce vigor. Thus, dopaminergic input to the dorsal striatum is indispensable for the emergence of striatal activity that mediates adaptive changes in movement vigor. These results suggest refined intervention strategies for Parkinson’s disease.

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07/22/15 | A specific component of the evoked potential mirrors phasic dopamine neuron activity during conditioning.
Pan W, Dudman JT
The Journal of Neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2015 Jul 22;35(29):10451-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4096-14.2015

UNLABELLED: Midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons are thought to be a critical node in the circuitry that mediates reward learning. DA neurons receive diverse inputs from regions distributed throughout the neuraxis from frontal neocortex to the mesencephalon. While a great deal is known about changes in the activity of individual DA neurons during learning, much less is known about the functional changes in the microcircuits in which DA neurons are embedded. Here we used local field potentials recorded from the midbrain of behaving mice to show that the midbrain evoked potential (mEP) faithfully reflects the temporal and spatial structure of the phasic response of midbrain neuron populations during conditioning. By comparing the mEP to simultaneously recorded single units, we identified specific components of the mEP that corresponded to phasic DA and non-DA responses to salient stimuli. The DA component of the mEP emerged with the acquisition of a conditioned stimulus, was extinguished following changes in reinforcement contingency, and could be inhibited by pharmacological manipulations that attenuate the phasic responses of DA neurons. In contrast to single-unit recordings, the mEP permitted relatively dense sampling of the midbrain circuit during conditioning and thus could be used to reveal the spatiotemporal structure of multiple intermingled midbrain circuits. Finally, the mEP response was stable for months and thus provides a new approach to study long-term changes in the organization of ventral midbrain microcircuits during learning.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Neurons that synthesize and release the neurotransmitter dopamine play a critical role in voluntary reward-seeking behavior. Much of our insight into the function of dopamine neurons comes from recordings of individual cells in behaving animals; however, it is notoriously difficult to record from dopamine neurons due to their sparsity and depth, as well as the presence of intermingled non-dopaminergic neurons. Here we show that much of the information that can be learned from recordings of individual dopamine and non-dopamine neurons is also revealed by changes in specific components of the local field potential. This technique provides an accessible measurement that could prove critical to our burgeoning understanding of the molecular, functional, and anatomical diversity of neuron populations in the midbrain.

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