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41 Publications

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    Truman LabFetter LabCardona Lab
    05/13/16 | The wiring diagram of a glomerular olfactory system.
    Berck ME, Khandelwal A, Claus L, Hernandez-Nunez L, Si G, Tabone CJ, Li F, Truman JW, Fetter RD, Louis M, Samuel AD, Cardona A
    eLife. 2016 May 13;5:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.14859

    The sense of smell enables animals to react to long-distance cues according to learned and innate valences. Here, we have mapped with electron microscopy the complete wiring diagram of the Drosophila larval antennal lobe, an olfactory neuropil similar to the vertebrate olfactory bulb. We found a canonical circuit with uniglomerular projection neurons (uPNs) relaying gain-controlled ORN activity to the mushroom body and the lateral horn. A second, parallel circuit with multiglomerular projection neurons (mPNs) and hierarchically connected local neurons (LNs) selectively integrates multiple ORN signals already at the first synapse. LN-LN synaptic connections putatively implement a bistable gain control mechanism that either computes odor saliency through panglomerular inhibition, or allows some glomeruli to respond to faint aversive odors in the presence of strong appetitive odors. This complete wiring diagram will support experimental and theoretical studies towards bridging the gap between circuits and behavior.

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    Fetter LabCardona Lab
    04/12/16 | Astrocytic glutamate transport regulates a Drosophila CNS synapse that lacks astrocyte ensheathment.
    MacNamee SE, Liu KE, Gerhard S, Tran CT, Fetter RD, Cardona A, Tolbert LP, Oland LA
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology. 2016 Apr 12;524(10):1979-98. doi: 10.1002/cne.24016

    Anatomical, molecular, and physiological interactions between astrocytes and neuronal synapses regulate information processing in the brain. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has become a valuable experimental system for genetic manipulation of the nervous system and has enormous potential for elucidating mechanisms that mediate neuron-glia interactions. Here, we show the first electrophysiological recordings from Drosophila astrocytes and characterize their spatial and physiological relationship with particular synapses. Astrocyte intrinsic properties were found to be strongly analogous to those of vertebrate astrocytes, including a passive current-voltage relationship, low membrane resistance, high capacitance, and dye-coupling to local astrocytes. Responses to optogenetic stimulation of glutamatergic pre-motor neurons were correlated directly with anatomy using serial electron microscopy reconstructions of homologous identified neurons and surrounding astrocytic processes. Robust bidirectional communication was present: neuronal activation triggered astrocytic glutamate transport via Eaat1, and blocking Eaat1 extended glutamatergic interneuron-evoked inhibitory post-synaptic currents in motor neurons. The neuronal synapses were always located within a micron of an astrocytic process, but none were ensheathed by those processes. Thus, fly astrocytes can modulate fast synaptic transmission via neurotransmitter transport within these anatomical parameters. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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    03/18/16 | Quantitative neuroanatomy for connectomics in Drosophila.
    Schneider-Mizell CM, Gerhard S, Longair M, Kazimiers T, Li F, Zwart M, Champion A, Midgley F, Fetter RD, Saalfeld S, Cardona A
    eLife. 2016 Mar 18:e12059. doi: 10.7554/eLife.12059

    Neuronal circuit mapping using electron microscopy demands laborious proofreading or reconciliation of multiple independent reconstructions. Here, we describe new methods to apply quantitative arbor and network context to iteratively proofread and reconstruct circuits and create anatomically enriched wiring diagrams. We measured the morphological underpinnings of connectivity in new and existing reconstructions of Drosophila sensorimotor (larva) and visual (adult) systems. Synaptic inputs were preferentially located on numerous small, microtubule-free 'twigs' which branch off a single microtubule-containing 'backbone'. Omission of individual twigs accounted for 96% of errors. However, the synapses of highly connected neurons were distributed across multiple twigs. Thus, the robustness of a strong connection to detailed twig anatomy was associated with robustness to reconstruction error. By comparing iterative reconstruction to the consensus of multiple reconstructions, we show that our method overcomes the need for redundant effort through the discovery and application of relationships between cellular neuroanatomy and synaptic connectivity.

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    Fetter LabCardona Lab
    02/18/16 | A circuit mechanism for the propagation of waves of muscle contraction in Drosophila.
    Fushiki A, Zwart MF, Kohsaka H, Fetter RD, Cardona A, Nose A
    eLife. 2016 Feb 18;5:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.13253

    Animals move by adaptively coordinating the sequential activation of muscles. The circuit mechanisms underlying coordinated locomotion are poorly understood. Here, we report on a novel circuit for propagation of waves of muscle contraction, using the peristaltic locomotion of Drosophila larvae as a model system. We found an intersegmental chain of synaptically connected neurons, alternating excitatory and inhibitory, necessary for wave propagation and active in phase with the wave. The excitatory neurons (A27h) are premotor and necessary only for forward locomotion, and are modulated by stretch receptors and descending inputs. The inhibitory neurons (GDL) are necessary for both forward and backward locomotion, suggestive of different yet coupled central pattern generators, and its inhibition is necessary for wave propagation. The circuit structure and functional imaging indicated that the commands to contract one segment promote the relaxation of the next segment, revealing a mechanism for wave propagation in peristaltic locomotion.

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    Fetter Lab
    12/16/15 | The innate immune receptor PGRP-LC controls presynaptic homeostatic plasticity.
    Harris N, Braiser DJ, Dickman DK, Fetter RD, Tong A, Davis GW
    Neuron. 2015 Dec 16;88(6):1157-64. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.10.049

    It is now appreciated that the brain is immunologically active. Highly conserved innate immune signaling responds to pathogen invasion and injury and promotes structural refinement of neural circuitry. However, it remains generally unknown whether innate immune signaling has a function during the day-to-day regulation of neural function in the absence of pathogens and irrespective of cellular damage or developmental change. Here we show that an innate immune receptor, a member of the peptidoglycan pattern recognition receptor family (PGRP-LC), is required for the induction and sustained expression of homeostatic synaptic plasticity. This receptor functions presynaptically, controlling the homeostatic modulation of the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles following inhibition of postsynaptic glutamate receptor function. Thus, PGRP-LC is a candidate receptor for retrograde, trans-synaptic signaling, a novel activity for innate immune signaling and the first known function of a PGRP-type receptor in the nervous system of any organism.

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    Cardona LabTruman LabFetter Lab
    10/21/15 | Even-Skipped(+) interneurons are core components of a sensorimotor circuit that maintains left-right symmetric muscle contraction amplitude.
    Heckscher ES, Zarin AA, Faumont S, Clark MQ, Manning L, Fushiki A, Schneider-Mizell CM, Fetter RD, Truman JW, Zwart MF, Landgraf M, Cardona A, Lockery SR, Doe CQ
    Neuron. 2015 Oct 21;88(2):314-29. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.09.009

    Bilaterally symmetric motor patterns-those in which left-right pairs of muscles contract synchronously and with equal amplitude (such as breathing, smiling, whisking, and locomotion)-are widespread throughout the animal kingdom. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the underlying neural circuits. We performed a thermogenetic screen to identify neurons required for bilaterally symmetric locomotion in Drosophila larvae and identified the evolutionarily conserved Even-skipped(+) interneurons (Eve/Evx). Activation or ablation of Eve(+) interneurons disrupted bilaterally symmetric muscle contraction amplitude, without affecting the timing of motor output. Eve(+) interneurons are not rhythmically active and thus function independently of the locomotor CPG. GCaMP6 calcium imaging of Eve(+) interneurons in freely moving larvae showed left-right asymmetric activation that correlated with larval behavior. TEM reconstruction of Eve(+) interneuron inputs and outputs showed that the Eve(+) interneurons are at the core of a sensorimotor circuit capable of detecting and modifying body wall muscle contraction.

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    Keleman LabFetter Lab
    06/30/15 | Synaptic Orb2A bridges memory acquisition and late memory consolidation in Drosophila.
    Krüttner S, Traunmüller L, Dag U, Jandrasits K, Stepien B, Iyer N, Fradkin LG, Noordermeer JN, Mensh BD, Keleman K
    Cell Reports. 2015 Jun 30;11(12):1953-65. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.05.037

    To adapt to an ever-changing environment, animals consolidate some, but not all, learning experiences to long-term memory. In mammals, long-term memory consolidation often involves neural pathway reactivation hours after memory acquisition. It is not known whether this delayed-reactivation schema is common across the animal kingdom or how information is stored during the delay period. Here, we show that, during courtship suppression learning, Drosophila exhibits delayed long-term memory consolidation. We also show that the same class of dopaminergic neurons engaged earlier in memory acquisition is also both necessary and sufficient for delayed long-term memory consolidation. Furthermore, we present evidence that, during learning, the translational regulator Orb2A tags specific synapses of mushroom body neurons for later consolidation. Consolidation involves the subsequent recruitment of Orb2B and the activity-dependent synthesis of CaMKII. Thus, our results provide evidence for the role of a neuromodulated, synapse-restricted molecule bridging memory acquisition and long-term memory consolidation in a learning animal.

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    Zlatic LabFetter LabBranson LabSimpson LabTruman LabCardona LabFlyEM
    04/20/15 | A multilevel multimodal circuit enhances action selection in Drosophila.
    Ohyama T, Schneider-Mizell CM, Fetter RD, Aleman JV, Franconville R, Rivera-Alba M, Mensh BD, Branson KM, Simpson JH, Truman JW, Cardona A, Zlatic M
    Nature. 2015 Apr 20;520(7549):633-9. doi: 10.1038/nature14297

    Natural events present multiple types of sensory cues, each detected by a specialized sensory modality. Combining information from several modalities is essential for the selection of appropriate actions. Key to understanding multimodal computations is determining the structural patterns of multimodal convergence and how these patterns contribute to behaviour. Modalities could converge early, late or at multiple levels in the sensory processing hierarchy. Here we show that combining mechanosensory and nociceptive cues synergistically enhances the selection of the fastest mode of escape locomotion in Drosophila larvae. In an electron microscopy volume that spans the entire insect nervous system, we reconstructed the multisensory circuit supporting the synergy, spanning multiple levels of the sensory processing hierarchy. The wiring diagram revealed a complex multilevel multimodal convergence architecture. Using behavioural and physiological studies, we identified functionally connected circuit nodes that trigger the fastest locomotor mode, and others that facilitate it, and we provide evidence that multiple levels of multimodal integration contribute to escape mode selection. We propose that the multilevel multimodal convergence architecture may be a general feature of multisensory circuits enabling complex input–output functions and selective tuning to ecologically relevant combinations of cues.

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    Hess LabFetter LabFlyEM
    02/16/15 | Ultrastructurally smooth thick partitioning and volume stitching for large-scale connectomics.
    Hayworth KJ, Xu CS, Lu Z, Knott GW, Fetter RD, Tapia JC, Lichtman JW, Hess HF
    Nature Methods. 2015 Feb 16;12(4):319-22. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.3292

    Focused-ion-beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) has become an essential tool for studying neural tissue at resolutions below 10 nm × 10 nm × 10 nm, producing data sets optimized for automatic connectome tracing. We present a technical advance, ultrathick sectioning, which reliably subdivides embedded tissue samples into chunks (20 μm thick) optimally sized and mounted for efficient, parallel FIB-SEM imaging. These chunks are imaged separately and then 'volume stitched' back together, producing a final three-dimensional data set suitable for connectome tracing.

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    Fetter Lab
    01/01/14 | Nanometer-resolution fluorescence electron microscopy (nano-EM) in cultured cells.
    Watanabe S, Lehmann M, Hujber E, Fetter RD, Richards J, Söhl-Kielczynski B, Felies A, Rosenmund C, Schmoranzer J, Jorgensen EM
    Methods in Molecular Biology. 2014;1117:503-26. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-776-1_22

    Nano-resolution fluorescence electron microscopy (nano-fEM) pinpoints the location of individual proteins in electron micrographs. Plastic sections are first imaged using a super-resolution fluorescence microscope and then imaged on an electron microscope. The two images are superimposed to correlate the position of labeled proteins relative to subcellular structures. Here, we describe the method in detail and present five technical advancements: the use of uranyl acetate during the freeze-substitution to enhance the contrast of tissues and reduce the loss of fluorescence, the use of ground-state depletion instead of photoactivation for temporal control of fluorescence, the use of organic fluorophores instead of fluorescent proteins to obtain brighter fluorescence signals, the use of tissue culture cells to broaden the utility of the method, and the use of a transmission electron microscope to achieve sharper images of ultrastructure.

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