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2 Publications

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    10/22/18 | Imaging cortical dynamics in GCaMP transgenic rats with a head-mounted widefield macroscope.
    Scott BB, Thiberge SY, Guo C, Tervo DG, Brody CD, Karpova AY, Tank DW
    Neuron. 2018 Oct 22:. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.09.050

    Widefield imaging of calcium dynamics is an emerging method for mapping regional neural activity but is currently limited to restrained animals. Here we describe cScope, a head-mounted widefield macroscope developed to image large-scale cortical dynamics in rats during natural behavior. cScope provides a 7.8 × 4 mm field of view and dual illumination paths for both fluorescence and hemodynamic correction and can be fabricated at low cost using readily attainable components. We also report the development of Thy-1 transgenic rat strains with widespread neuronal expression of the calcium indicator GCaMP6f. We combined these two technologies to image large-scale calcium dynamics in the dorsal neocortex during a visual evidence accumulation task. Quantitative analysis of task-related dynamics revealed multiple regions having neural signals that encode behavioral choice and sensory evidence. Our results provide a new transgenic resource for calcium imaging in rats and extend the domain of head-mounted microscopes to larger-scale cortical dynamics.

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    10/16/18 | Expanding the optogenetics toolkit by topological inversion of rhodopsins.
    Brown J, Behnam R, Coddington L, Tervo DG, Martin K, Proskurin M, Kuleshova E, Park J, Phillips J, Bergs AC, Gottschalk A, Dudman JT, Karpova AY
    Cell. 2018 Oct 16;175(4):1131-40. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.09.026

    Targeted manipulation of activity in specific populations of neurons is important for investigating the neural circuit basis of behavior. Optogenetic approaches using light-sensitive microbial rhodopsins have permitted manipulations to reach a level of temporal precision that is enabling functional circuit dissection. As demand for more precise perturbations to serve specific experimental goals increases, a palette of opsins with diverse selectivity, kinetics, and spectral properties will be needed. Here, we introduce a novel approach of "topological engineering"-inversion of opsins in the plasma membrane-and demonstrate that it can produce variants with unique functional properties of interest for circuit neuroscience. In one striking example, inversion of a Channelrhodopsin variant converted it from a potent activator into a fast-acting inhibitor that operates as a cation pump. Our findings argue that membrane topology provides a useful orthogonal dimension of protein engineering that immediately permits as much as a doubling of the available toolkit.

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