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6 Publications

Showing 1-6 of 6 results
10/31/18 | Distinct descending motor cortex pathways and their roles in movement.
Economo MN, Viswanathan S, Tasic B, Bas E, Winnubst J, Menon V, Graybuck LT, Nguyen TN, Smith KA, Yao Z, Wang L, Gerfen CR, Chandrashekar J, Zeng H, Looger LL, Svoboda K
Nature. 2018 Nov;563(7729):79-84. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0642-9

Activity in the motor cortex predicts movements, seconds before they are initiated. This preparatory activity has been observed across cortical layers, including in descending pyramidal tract neurons in layer 5. A key question is how preparatory activity is maintained without causing movement, and is ultimately converted to a motor command to trigger appropriate movements. Here, using single-cell transcriptional profiling and axonal reconstructions, we identify two types of pyramidal tract neuron. Both types project to several targets in the basal ganglia and brainstem. One type projects to thalamic regions that connect back to motor cortex; populations of these neurons produced early preparatory activity that persisted until the movement was initiated. The second type projects to motor centres in the medulla and mainly produced late preparatory activity and motor commands. These results indicate that two types of motor cortex output neurons have specialized roles in motor control.

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09/03/18 | Topographic precision in sensory and motor corticostriatal projections varies across cell type and cortical area.
Hooks BM, Papale AE, Paletzki RF, Feroze MW, Eastwood BS, Couey JJ, Winnubst J, Chandrashekar J, Gerfen CR
Nature Communications. 2018 Sep 03;9(1):3549. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05780-7

The striatum shows general topographic organization and regional differences in behavioral functions. How corticostriatal topography differs across cortical areas and cell types to support these distinct functions is unclear. This study contrasted corticostriatal projections from two layer 5 cell types, intratelencephalic (IT-type) and pyramidal tract (PT-type) neurons, using viral vectors expressing fluorescent reporters in Cre-driver mice. Corticostriatal projections from sensory and motor cortex are somatotopic, with a decreasing topographic specificity as injection sites move from sensory to motor and frontal areas. Topographic organization differs between IT-type and PT-type neurons, including injections in the same site, with IT-type neurons having higher topographic stereotypy than PT-type neurons. Furthermore, IT-type projections from interconnected cortical areas have stronger correlations in corticostriatal targeting than PT-type projections do. As predicted by a longstanding model, corticostriatal projections of interconnected cortical areas form parallel circuits in the basal ganglia.

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04/10/18 | Dissociable structural and functional hippocampal outputs via distinct subiculum cell classes.
Cembrowski MS, Phillips MG, DiLisio SF, Shields BC, Winnubst J, Chandrashekar J, Bas E, Spruston N
Cell. 2018 Apr 10;173(5):1280-92. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.03.031

The mammalian hippocampus, comprised of serially connected subfields, participates in diverse behavioral and cognitive functions. It has been postulated that parallel circuitry embedded within hippocampal subfields may underlie such functional diversity. We sought to identify, delineate, and manipulate this putatively parallel architecture in the dorsal subiculum, the primary output subfield of the dorsal hippocampus. Population and single-cell RNA-seq revealed that the subiculum can be divided into two spatially adjacent subregions associated with prominent differences in pyramidal cell gene expression. Pyramidal cells occupying these two regions differed in their long-range inputs, local wiring, projection targets, and electrophysiological properties. Leveraging gene-expression differences across these regions, we use genetically restricted neuronal silencing to show that these regions differentially contribute to spatial working memory. This work provides a coherent molecular-, cellular-, circuit-, and behavioral-level demonstration that the hippocampus embeds structurally and functionally dissociable streams within its serial architecture.

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02/07/18 | Cell type-specific variation of somatotopic precision across corticostriatal projections.
Hooks BM, Papale AE, Paletzki R, Feroze M, Eastwood BS, Couey JJ, Winnubst J, Chandrashekar J, Gerfen CR
bioRxiv. 2018 Feb 7:. doi: 10.1101/261446

The striatum shows general topographic organization and regional differences in behavioral functions. How corticostriatal topography differs across cortical areas and cell types to support these distinct functions is unclear. This study contrasted corticostriatal projections from two layer 5 cell types, intratelencephalic (IT-type) and pyramidal tract (PT-type) neurons, using viral vectors expressing fluorescent reporters in Cre-driver mice. Long-range corticostriatal projections from sensory and motor cortex are somatotopic, with a decreasing somatotopic specificity as injections move from sensory to motor and frontal areas. Somatotopic organization differs between IT-type and PT-type neurons, including injections in the same site, with IT-type neurons having higher somatotopic stereotypy than PT-type neurons. Furthermore, IT-type projections from interconnected cortical areas have stronger correlations in corticostriatal targeting than PT-type projections do. Thus, as predicted by a long-standing basal ganglia model, corticostriatal projections of interconnected cortical areas form parallel circuits in basal ganglia-thalamus-cortex loops.

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11/12/16 | Long distance projections of cortical pyramidal neurons.
Gerfen CR, Economo MN, Chandrashekar J
Journal of Neuroscience Research. 2016 Nov 12:. doi: 10.1002/jnr.23978

The neuronal circuits defined by the axonal projections of pyramidal neurons in the cerebral cortex are responsible for processing sensory and other information to plan and execute behavior. Subtypes of cortical pyramidal neurons are organized across layers, with those in different layers distinguished by their patterns of axonal projections and connectivity. For example, those in layers 2 and 3 project between cortical areas to integrate sensory and other information with motor areas; while those in layers 5 and 6 also integrate information between cortical areas, but also project to subcortical structures involved in the generation of behavior. Recent advances in neuroanatomical techniques allow one to target specific subtypes of cortical pyramidal neurons and label both their inputs and projections. Combining these methods with neurophysiological recording techniques and newly introduced atlases of the mouse brain provide the opportunity to achieve a detailed view of the organization of cerebral cortical circuits.

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01/20/16 | A platform for brain-wide imaging and reconstruction of individual neurons.
Economo MN, Clack NG, Lavis LD, Gerfen CR, Svoboda K, Myers EW, Chandrashekar J
eLife. 2016 Jan 20;5:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.10566

The structure of axonal arbors controls how signals from individual neurons are routed within the mammalian brain. However, the arbors of very few long-range projection neurons have been reconstructed in their entirety, as axons with diameters as small as 100 nm arborize in target regions dispersed over many millimeters of tissue. We introduce a platform for high-resolution, three-dimensional fluorescence imaging of complete tissue volumes that enables the visualization and reconstruction of long-range axonal arbors. This platform relies on a high-speed two-photon microscope integrated with a tissue vibratome and a suite of computational tools for large-scale image data. We demonstrate the power of this approach by reconstructing the axonal arbors of multiple neurons in the motor cortex across a single mouse brain.

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