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45 Publications

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    06/02/24 | Dynamic assemblies of parvalbumin interneurons in brain oscillations.
    Huang Y, Chen H, Lin Y, Lin S, Zheng Q, Abdelfattah AS, Lavis LD, Schreiter ER, Lin B, Chen T
    Neuron. 2024 Jun 02:. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2024.05.015

    Brain oscillations are crucial for perception, memory, and behavior. Parvalbumin-expressing (PV) interneurons are critical for these oscillations, but their population dynamics remain unclear. Using voltage imaging, we simultaneously recorded membrane potentials in up to 26 PV interneurons in vivo during hippocampal ripple oscillations in mice. We found that PV cells generate ripple-frequency rhythms by forming highly dynamic cell assemblies. These assemblies exhibit rapid and significant changes from cycle to cycle, varying greatly in both size and membership. Importantly, this variability is not just random spiking failures of individual neurons. Rather, the activities of other PV cells contain significant information about whether a PV cell spikes or not in a given cycle. This coordination persists without network oscillations, and it exists in subthreshold potentials even when the cells are not spiking. Dynamic assemblies of interneurons may provide a new mechanism to modulate postsynaptic dynamics and impact cognitive functions flexibly and rapidly.

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    02/21/24 | Epigenetic repression of cFos supports sequential formation of distinct spatial memories.
    Andreas Franzelin , Paul J. Lamothe-Molina , Christine E. Gee , Andrey Formozov , Eric R Schreiter , Fabio Morellini , Thomas Glenn Oertner
    bioRxiv. 2024 Feb 21:. doi: 10.1101/2024.02.16.580703

    Expression of the immediate early gene cFos modifies the epigenetic landscape of activated neurons with downstream effects on synaptic plasticity. The production of cFos is inhibited by a long-lived isoform of another Fos family gene, ΔFosB. It has been speculated that this negative feedback mechanism may be critical for protecting episodic memories from being overwritten by new information. Here, we investigate the influence of ΔFosB inhibition on cFos expression and memory. Hippocampal neurons in slice culture produce more cFos on the first day of stimulation compared to identical stimulation on the following day. This downregulation affects all hippocampal subfields and requires histone deacetylation. Overexpression of ΔFosB in individual pyramidal neurons effectively suppresses cFos, indicating that accumulation of ΔFosB is the causal mechanism. Water maze training of mice over several days leads to accumulation of ΔFosB in granule cells of the dentate gyrus, but not in CA3 and CA1. Because the dentate gyrus is thought to support pattern separation and cognitive flexibility, we hypothesized that inhibiting the expression of ΔFosB would affect reversal learning, i.e., the ability to successively learn new platform locations in the water maze. The results indicate that pharmacological HDAC inhibition, which prevents cFos repression, impairs reversal learning, while learning and memory of the initial platform location remain unaffected. Our study supports the hypothesis that epigenetic mechanisms tightly regulate cFos expression in individual granule cells to orchestrate the formation of time-stamped memories.

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    02/08/24 | Synchronous Ensembles of Hippocampal CA1 Pyramidal Neurons Associated with Theta but not Ripple Oscillations During Novel Exploration.
    Bei-Jung Lin , Tsai-Wen Chen , En-Li Chen , Eric R. Schreiter
    bioRxiv. 2024 Feb 08:. doi: 10.1101/2024.02.07.579313

    Synchronous neuronal ensembles play a pivotal role in the consolidation of long-term memory in the hippocampus. However, their organization during the acquisition of spatial memory remains less clear. In this study, we used neuronal population voltage imaging to investigate the synchronization patterns of CA1 pyramidal neuronal ensembles during the exploration of a new environment, a critical phase for spatial memory acquisition. We found synchronous ensembles comprising approximately 40% of CA1 pyramidal neurons, firing simultaneously in brief windows (∼25ms) during immobility and locomotion in novel exploration. Notably, these synchronous ensembles were not associated with ripple oscillations but were instead phase-locked to local field potential theta waves. Specifically, the subthreshold membrane potentials of neurons exhibited coherent theta oscillations with a depolarizing peak at the moment of synchrony. Among newly formed place cells, pairs with more robust synchronization during locomotion displayed more distinct place-specific activities. These findings underscore the role of synchronous ensembles in coordinating place cells of different place fields.

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    11/20/23 | All-optical reporting of inhibitory receptor driving force in the nervous system.
    Joshua S. Selfe , Teresa J. S. Steyn , Eran F. Shorer , Richard J. Burman , Kira M. Düsterwald , Ahmed S. Abdelfattah , Eric R. Schreiter , Sarah E. Newey , Colin J. Akerman , Joseph V. Raimondo
    bioRxiv. 2023 Nov 20:. doi: 10.1101/2023.08.30.555464

    Ionic driving forces provide the net electromotive force for ion movement across receptors, channels, and transporters, and are a fundamental property of all cells. In the brain for example, fast synaptic inhibition is mediated by chloride permeable GABAA receptors, and single-cell intracellular recordings have been the only method for estimating driving forces across these receptors (DFGABAA). Here we present a new tool for quantifying inhibitory receptor driving force named ORCHID: all-Optical Reporting of CHloride Ion Driving force. We demonstrate ORCHID’s ability to provide accurate, high-throughput measurements of resting and dynamic DFGABAA from genetically targeted cell types over multiple timescales. ORCHID confirms theoretical predictions about the biophysical mechanisms that establish DFGABAA, reveals novel differences in DFGABAA between neurons and astrocytes, and affords the first in vivo measurements of intact DFGABAA. This work extends our understanding of inhibitory synaptic transmission and establishes a precedent for all-optical methods to assess ionic driving forces.

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    09/01/23 | All-optical reporting of chloride ion driving force in the nervous system
    Joshua S. Selfe , Teresa J. S. Steyn , Eran F. Shorer , Richard J. Burman , Kira M. Düsterwald , Ahmed S. Abdelfattah , Eric R. Schreiter , Sarah E. Newey , Colin J. Akerman , Joseph V. Raimondo
    bioRxiv. 2023 Sep 01:. doi: 10.1101/2023.08.30.555464

    Ionic driving forces provide the net electromotive force for ion movement across membranes and are therefore a fundamental property of all cells. In the nervous system, chloride driving force (DFCl) determines inhibitory signaling, as fast synaptic inhibition is mediated by chloride-permeable GABAA and glycine receptors. Here we present a new tool for all-Optical Reporting of CHloride Ion Driving force (ORCHID). We demonstrate ORCHID’s ability to provide accurate, high-throughput measurements of resting and dynamic DFCl from genetically targeted cell types over a range of timescales. ORCHID confirms theoretical predictions about the biophysical mechanisms that establish DFCl, reveals novel differences in DFCl between neurons and astrocytes under different network conditions, and affords the first in vivo measurements of intact DFCl in mouse cortical neurons. This work extends our understanding of chloride homeostasis and inhibitory synaptic transmission and establishes a precedent for utilizing all-optical methods to assess ionic driving force.

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    08/25/23 | Rational Engineering of an Improved Genetically Encoded pH Sensor Based on Superecliptic pHluorin.
    Shen Y, Wen Y, Sposini S, Vishwanath AA, Abdelfattah AS, Schreiter ER, Lemieux MJ, de Juan-Sanz J, Perrais D, Campbell RE
    ACS Sensors. 2023 Aug 25;8(8):3014-3022. doi: 10.1021/acssensors.3c00484

    Genetically encoded pH sensors based on fluorescent proteins are valuable tools for the imaging of cellular events that are associated with pH changes, such as exocytosis and endocytosis. Superecliptic pHluorin (SEP) is a pH-sensitive green fluorescent protein (GFP) variant widely used for such applications. Here, we report the rational design, development, structure, and applications of Lime, an improved SEP variant with higher fluorescence brightness and greater pH sensitivity. The X-ray crystal structure of Lime supports the mechanistic rationale that guided the introduction of beneficial mutations. Lime provides substantial improvements relative to SEP for imaging of endocytosis and exocytosis. Furthermore, Lime and its variants are advantageous for a broader range of applications including the detection of synaptic release and neuronal voltage changes.

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    06/01/23 | Glutamate indicators with improved activation kinetics and localization for imaging synaptic transmission.
    Aggarwal A, Liu R, Chen Y, Ralowicz AJ, Bergerson SJ, Tomaska F, Mohar B, Hanson TL, Hasseman JP, Reep D, Tsegaye G, Yao P, Ji X, Kloos M, Walpita D, Patel R, Mohr MA, Tillberg PW, GENIE Project Team , Looger LL, Marvin JS, Hoppa MB, Konnerth A, Kleinfeld D, Schreiter ER, Podgorski K
    Nature Methods. 2023 Jun 01;20(6):. doi: 10.1038/s41592-023-01863-6

    The fluorescent glutamate indicator iGluSnFR enables imaging of neurotransmission with genetic and molecular specificity. However, existing iGluSnFR variants exhibit low in vivo signal-to-noise ratios, saturating activation kinetics and exclusion from postsynaptic densities. Using a multiassay screen in bacteria, soluble protein and cultured neurons, we generated variants with improved signal-to-noise ratios and kinetics. We developed surface display constructs that improve iGluSnFR's nanoscopic localization to postsynapses. The resulting indicator iGluSnFR3 exhibits rapid nonsaturating activation kinetics and reports synaptic glutamate release with decreased saturation and increased specificity versus extrasynaptic signals in cultured neurons. Simultaneous imaging and electrophysiology at individual boutons in mouse visual cortex showed that iGluSnFR3 transients report single action potentials with high specificity. In vibrissal sensory cortex layer 4, we used iGluSnFR3 to characterize distinct patterns of touch-evoked feedforward input from thalamocortical boutons and both feedforward and recurrent input onto L4 cortical neuron dendritic spines.

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    05/17/23 | Sensitivity optimization of a rhodopsin-based fluorescent voltage indicator
    Abdelfattah AS, Zheng J, Singh A, Huang Y, Reep D, Tsegaye G, Tsang A, Arthur BJ, Rehorova M, Olson CV, Shuai Y, Zhang L, Fu T, Milkie DE, Moya MV, Weber TD, Lemire AL, Baker CA, Falco N, Zheng Q, Grimm JB, Yip MC, Walpita D, Chase M, Campagnola L, Murphy GJ, Wong AM, Forest CR, Mertz J, Economo MN, Turner GC, Koyama M, Lin B, Betzig E, Novak O, Lavis LD, Svoboda K, Korff W, Chen T, Schreiter ER, Hasseman JP, Kolb I
    Neuron. 2023 May 17;111(10):1547-1563. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2023.03.009

    The ability to optically image cellular transmembrane voltages at millisecond-timescale resolutions can offer unprecedented insight into the function of living brains in behaving animals. Here, we present a point mutation that increases the sensitivity of Ace2 opsin-based voltage indicators. We use the mutation to develop Voltron2, an improved chemigeneic voltage indicator that has a 65% higher sensitivity to single APs and 3-fold higher sensitivity to subthreshold potentials than Voltron. Voltron2 retained the sub-millisecond kinetics and photostability of its predecessor, although with lower baseline fluorescence. In multiple in vitro and in vivo comparisons with its predecessor across multiple species, we found Voltron2 to be more sensitive to APs and subthreshold fluctuations. Finally, we used Voltron2 to study and evaluate the possible mechanisms of interneuron synchronization in the mouse hippocampus. Overall, we have discovered a generalizable mutation that significantly increases the sensitivity of Ace2 rhodopsin-based sensors, improving their voltage reporting capability.

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    03/15/23 | Fast and sensitive GCaMP calcium indicators for imaging neural populations.
    Zhang Y, Rozsa M, Liang Y, Bushey D, Wei Z, Zheng J, Reep D, Broussard GJ, Tsang A, Tsegaye G, Narayan S, Obara CJ, Lim J, Patel R, Zhang R, Ahrens MB, Turner GC, Wang SS, Korff WL, Schreiter ER, Svoboda K, Hasseman JP, Kolb I, Looger LL
    Nature. 2023 Mar 15:. doi: 10.1038/s41586-023-05828-9

    Calcium imaging with protein-based indicators is widely used to follow neural activity in intact nervous systems, but current protein sensors report neural activity at timescales much slower than electrical signalling and are limited by trade-offs between sensitivity and kinetics. Here we used large-scale screening and structure-guided mutagenesis to develop and optimize several fast and sensitive GCaMP-type indicators. The resulting 'jGCaMP8' sensors, based on the calcium-binding protein calmodulin and a fragment of endothelial nitric oxide synthase, have ultra-fast kinetics (half-rise times of 2 ms) and the highest sensitivity for neural activity reported for a protein-based calcium sensor. jGCaMP8 sensors will allow tracking of large populations of neurons on timescales relevant to neural computation.

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    04/01/21 | The HaloTag as a general scaffold for far-red tunable chemigenetic indicators.
    Deo C, Abdelfattah AS, Bhargava HK, Berro AJ, Falco N, Farrants H, Moeyaert B, Chupanova M, Lavis LD, Schreiter ER
    Nature Chemical Biology. 2021 Apr 01:. doi: 10.1038/s41589-021-00775-w

    Functional imaging using fluorescent indicators has revolutionized biology, but additional sensor scaffolds are needed to access properties such as bright, far-red emission. Here, we introduce a new platform for 'chemigenetic' fluorescent indicators, utilizing the self-labeling HaloTag protein conjugated to environmentally sensitive synthetic fluorophores. We solve a crystal structure of HaloTag bound to a rhodamine dye ligand to guide engineering efforts to modulate the dye environment. We show that fusion of HaloTag with protein sensor domains that undergo conformational changes near the bound dye results in large and rapid changes in fluorescence output. This generalizable approach affords bright, far-red calcium and voltage sensors with highly tunable photophysical and chemical properties, which can reliably detect single action potentials in cultured neurons.

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