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14 Publications

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    12/11/99 | Y do we drink?
    Tecott LH, Heberlein U
    Cell. 1998 Dec 11;95(6):733-5
    10/15/99 | Dendritic calcium spike initiation and repolarization are controlled by distinct potassium channel subtypes in CA1 pyramidal neurons.
    Golding NL, Jung HY, Mickus T, Spruston N
    J Neurosci. 1999 Oct 15;19(20):8789-98

    In CA1 pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus, calcium-dependent spikes occur in vivo during specific behavioral states and may be enhanced during epileptiform activity. However, the mechanisms that control calcium spike initiation and repolarization are poorly understood. Using dendritic and somatic patch-pipette recordings, we show that calcium spikes are initiated in the apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons and drive bursts of sodium-dependent action potentials at the soma. Initiation of calcium spikes at the soma was suppressed in part by potassium channels activated by sodium-dependent action potentials. Low-threshold, putative D-type potassium channels [blocked by 100 microM 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) and 0.5-1 microM alpha-dendrotoxin (alpha-DTX)] played a prominent role in setting a high threshold for somatic calcium spikes, thus restricting initiation to the dendrites. DTX- and 4-AP-sensitive channels were activated during sodium-dependent action potentials and mediated a large component of their afterhyperpolarization. Once initiated, repetitive firing of calcium spikes was limited by activation of putative BK-type calcium-activated potassium channels (blocked by 250 microM tetraethylammonium chloride, 70 nM charybdotoxin, or 100 nM iberiotoxin). Thus, the concerted action of calcium- and voltage-activated potassium channels serves to focus spatially and temporally the membrane depolarization and calcium influx generated by calcium spikes during strong, synchronous network excitation.

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    Truman LabRiddiford Lab
    09/30/99 | The origins of insect metamorphosis.
    Truman JW, Riddiford LM
    Nature. 1999 Sep 30;401:447-52. doi: 10.1038/46737

    Insect metamorphosis is a fascinating and highly successful biological adaptation, but there is much uncertainty as to how it evolved. Ancestral insect species did not undergo metamorphosis and there are still some existing species that lack metamorphosis or undergo only partial metamorphosis. Based on endocrine studies and morphological comparisons of the development of insect species with and without metamorphosis, a novel hypothesis for the evolution of metamorphosis is proposed. Changes in the endocrinology of development are central to this hypothesis. The three stages of the ancestral insect species-pronymph, nymph and adult-are proposed to be equivalent to the larva, pupa and adult stages of insects with complete metamorphosis. This proposal has general implications for insect developmental biology.

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    The mushroom bodies (MBs) are prominent structures in the Drosophila brain that are essential for olfactory learning and memory. Characterization of the development and projection patterns of individual MB neurons will be important for elucidating their functions. Using mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker (Lee, T. and Luo, L. (1999) Neuron 22, 451-461), we have positively marked the axons and dendrites of multicellular and single-cell mushroom body clones at specific developmental stages. Systematic clonal analysis demonstrates that a single mushroom body neuroblast sequentially generates at least three types of morphologically distinct neurons. Neurons projecting into the (gamma) lobe of the adult MB are born first, prior to the mid-3rd instar larval stage. Neurons projecting into the alpha’ and beta’ lobes are born between the mid-3rd instar larval stage and puparium formation. Finally, neurons projecting into the alpha and beta lobes are born after puparium formation. Visualization of individual MB neurons has also revealed how different neurons acquire their characteristic axon projections. During the larval stage, axons of all MB neurons bifurcate into both the dorsal and medial lobes. Shortly after puparium formation, larval MB neurons are selectively pruned according to birthdays. Degeneration of axon branches makes early-born gamma neurons retain only their main processes in the peduncle, which then project into the adult gamma lobe without bifurcation. In contrast, the basic axon projections of the later-born (alpha’/beta’) larval neurons are preserved during metamorphosis. This study illustrates the cellular organization of mushroom bodies and the development of different MB neurons at the single cell level. It allows for future studies on the molecular mechanisms of mushroom body development.

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    09/01/99 | The Berkeley Drosophila genome project gene disruption project: single P-element insertions mutating 25% of vital Drosophila genes.
    Spradling AC, Stern D, Beaton A, Rhem EJ, Laverty T, Mozden N, Misra S, Rubin GM
    Genetics. 1999 Sep;153(1):135-77. doi: 10.1186/gb-2007-8-7-r145

    A fundamental goal of genetics and functional genomics is to identify and mutate every gene in model organisms such as Drosophila melanogaster. The Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project (BDGP) gene disruption project generates single P-element insertion strains that each mutate unique genomic open reading frames. Such strains strongly facilitate further genetic and molecular studies of the disrupted loci, but it has remained unclear if P elements can be used to mutate all Drosophila genes. We now report that the primary collection has grown to contain 1045 strains that disrupt more than 25% of the estimated 3600 Drosophila genes that are essential for adult viability. Of these P insertions, 67% have been verified by genetic tests to cause the associated recessive mutant phenotypes, and the validity of most of the remaining lines is predicted on statistical grounds. Sequences flanking >920 insertions have been determined to exactly position them in the genome and to identify 376 potentially affected transcripts from collections of EST sequences. Strains in the BDGP collection are available from the Bloomington Stock Center and have already assisted the research community in characterizing >250 Drosophila genes. The likely identity of 131 additional genes in the collection is reported here. Our results show that Drosophila genes have a wide range of sensitivity to inactivation by P elements, and provide a rationale for greatly expanding the BDGP primary collection based entirely on insertion site sequencing. We predict that this approach can bring >85% of all Drosophila open reading frames under experimental control.

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    08/23/99 | A room-temperature molten salt prepared from AuCl3 and 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride.
    Schreiter ER, Stevens JE, Ortwerth MF, Freeman RG
    Inorganic Chemistry. 1999 Aug 23;38(17):3935-7. doi: 10.1021/ic990062u

    A room-temperature molten salt has been prepared from AuCl3 and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (EMIC). At a ratio of 1 mol of AuCl3 to 2 mol of EMIC, the salt is a bright yellow-orange and shows Raman spectral features at 170, 328, and 352 cm-1, indicating the presence of AuCl4-. Ab initio calculations indicate that a dinuclear Au2Cl7- species containing a bridging chlorine should be stable, but no such species has been observed.

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    06/03/99 | Decrystallization of adult birdsong by perturbation of auditory feedback.
    Leonardo A, Konishi M
    Nature. 1999 Jun 3;399(6735):466-70. doi: 10.1038/20933

    Young birds learn to sing by using auditory feedback to compare their own vocalizations to a memorized or innate song pattern; if they are deafened as juveniles, they will not develop normal songs. The completion of song development is called crystallization. After this stage, song shows little variation in its temporal or spectral properties. However, the mechanisms underlying this stability are largely unknown. Here we present evidence that auditory feedback is actively used in adulthood to maintain the stability of song structure. We found that perturbing auditory feedback during singing in adult zebra finches caused their song to deteriorate slowly. This ’decrystallization’ consisted of a marked loss of the spectral and temporal stereotypy seen in crystallized song, including stuttering, creation, deletion and distortion of song syllables. After normal feedback was restored, these deviations gradually disappeared and the original song was recovered. Thus, adult birds that do not learn new songs nevertheless retain a significant amount of plasticity in the brain.

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    04/30/99 | Slow sodium channel inactivation in CA1 pyramidal cells.
    Mickus T, Jung HY, Spruston N
    Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999 Apr 30;868:97-101

    We describe a genetic mosaic system in Drosophila, in which a dominant repressor of a cell marker is placed in trans to a mutant gene of interest. Mitotic recombination events between homologous chromosomes generate homozygous mutant cells, which are exclusively labeled due to loss of the repressor. Using this system, we are able to visualize axonal projections and dendritic elaboration in large neuroblast clones and single neuron clones with a membrane-targeted GFP marker. This new method allows for the study of gene functions in neuroblast proliferation, axon guidance, and dendritic elaboration in the complex central nervous system. As an example, we show that the short stop gene is required in mushroom body neurons for the extension and guidance of their axons.

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    03/01/99 | The developmental basis for allometry in insects.
    Stern DL, Emlen DJ
    Development. 1999 Mar;126(6):1091-101

    Within all species of animals, the size of each organ bears a specific relationship to overall body size. These patterns of organ size relative to total body size are called static allometry and have enchanted biologists for centuries, yet the mechanisms generating these patterns have attracted little experimental study. We review recent and older work on holometabolous insect development that sheds light on these mechanisms. In insects, static allometry can be divided into at least two processes: (1) the autonomous specification of organ identity, perhaps including the approximate size of the organ, and (2) the determination of the final size of organs based on total body size. We present three models to explain the second process: (1) all organs autonomously absorb nutrients and grow at organ-specific rates, (2) a centralized system measures a close correlate of total body size and distributes this information to all organs, and (3) autonomous organ growth is combined with feedback between growing organs to modulate final sizes. We provide evidence supporting models 2 and 3 and also suggest that hormones are the messengers of size information. Advances in our understanding of the mechanisms of allometry will come through the integrated study of whole tissues using techniques from development, genetics, endocrinology and population biology.

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