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194 Janelia Publications

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    12/29/15 | P1 interneurons promote a persistent internal state that enhances inter-male aggression in Drosophila.
    Hoopfer ED, Jung Y, Inagaki HK, Rubin GM, Anderson DJ
    eLife. 2015 Dec 29;4:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.11346

    How brains are hardwired to produce aggressive behavior, and how aggression circuits are related to those that mediate courtship, is not well understood. A large-scale screen for aggression-promoting neurons in Drosophila identified several independent hits that enhanced both inter-male aggression and courtship. Genetic intersections revealed that 8-10 P1 interneurons, previously thought to exclusively control male courtship, were sufficient to promote fighting. Optogenetic experiments indicated that P1 activation could promote aggression at a threshold below that required for wing extension. P1 activation in the absence of wing extension triggered persistent aggression via an internal state that could endure for minutes. High-frequency P1 activation promoted wing extension and suppressed aggression during photostimulation, whereas aggression resumed and wing extension was inhibited following photostimulation offset. Thus, P1 neuron activation promotes a latent, internal state that facilitates aggression and courtship, and controls the overt expression of these social behaviors in a threshold-dependent, inverse manner.

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    12/24/15 | An emerging technology framework for the neurobiology of appetite.
    Sternson SM, Atasoy D, Betley JN, Henry FE, Xu S
    Cell Metabolism. 2015 Dec 24;23(2):234-53. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.12.002

    Advances in neuro-technology for mapping, manipulating, and monitoring molecularly defined cell types are rapidly advancing insight into neural circuits that regulate appetite. Here, we review these important tools and their applications in circuits that control food seeking and consumption. Technical capabilities provided by these tools establish a rigorous experimental framework for research into the neurobiology of hunger.

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    Svoboda LabFreeman Lab
    12/23/15 | Neural coding in barrel cortex during whisker-guided locomotion.
    Sofroniew NJ, Vlasov YA, Andrew Hires S, Freeman J, Svoboda K
    eLife. 2015 Dec 23;4:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.12559

    Animals seek out relevant information by moving through a dynamic world, but sensory systems are usually studied under highly constrained and passive conditions that may not probe important dimensions of the neural code. Here, we explored neural coding in the barrel cortex of head-fixed mice that tracked walls with their whiskers in tactile virtual reality. Optogenetic manipulations revealed that barrel cortex plays a role in wall-tracking. Closed-loop optogenetic control of layer 4 neurons can substitute for whisker-object contact to guide behavior resembling wall tracking. We measured neural activity using two-photon calcium imaging and extracellular recordings. Neurons were tuned to the distance between the animal snout and the contralateral wall, with monotonic, unimodal, and multimodal tuning curves. This rich representation of object location in the barrel cortex could not be predicted based on simple stimulus-response relationships involving individual whiskers and likely emerges within cortical circuits.

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    08/06/15 | Dendritic sodium spikes are required for long-term potentiation at distal synapses on hippocampal pyramidal neurons.
    Kim Y, Hsu C, Cembrowski MS, Mensh BD, Spruston N
    eLife. 2015 Aug 06;4:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.06414

    Dendritic integration of synaptic inputs mediates rapid neural computation as well as longer-lasting plasticity. Several channel types can mediate dendritically initiated spikes (dSpikes), which may impact information processing and storage across multiple timescales; however, the roles of different channels in the rapid vs long-term effects of dSpikes are unknown. We show here that dSpikes mediated by Nav channels (blocked by a low concentration of TTX) are required for long-term potentiation (LTP) in the distal apical dendrites of hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Furthermore, imaging, simulations, and buffering experiments all support a model whereby fast Nav channel-mediated dSpikes (Na-dSpikes) contribute to LTP induction by promoting large, transient, localized increases in intracellular calcium concentration near the calcium-conducting pores of NMDAR and L-type Cav channels. Thus, in addition to contributing to rapid neural processing, Na-dSpikes are likely to contribute to memory formation via their role in long-lasting synaptic plasticity.

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    12/17/15 | Ig superfamily ligand and receptor pairs expressed in synaptic partners in Drosophila.
    Tan L, Zhang KX, Pecot MY, Nagarkar-Jaiswal S, Lee P, Takemura S, McEwen JM, Nern A, Xu S, Tadros W, Chen Z, Zinn K, Bellen HJ, Morey M, Zipursky SL
    Cell. 2015 Dec 17;163(7):1756-69. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.11.021

    Information processing relies on precise patterns of synapses between neurons. The cellular recognition mechanisms regulating this specificity are poorly understood. In the medulla of the Drosophila visual system, different neurons form synaptic connections in different layers. Here, we sought to identify candidate cell recognition molecules underlying this specificity. Using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), we show that neurons with different synaptic specificities express unique combinations of mRNAs encoding hundreds of cell surface and secreted proteins. Using RNA-seq and protein tagging, we demonstrate that 21 paralogs of the Dpr family, a subclass of immunoglobulin (Ig)-domain containing proteins, are expressed in unique combinations in homologous neurons with different layer-specific synaptic connections. Dpr interacting proteins (DIPs), comprising nine paralogs of another subclass of Ig-containing proteins, are expressed in a complementary layer-specific fashion in a subset of synaptic partners. We propose that pairs of Dpr/DIP paralogs contribute to layer-specific patterns of synaptic connectivity.

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    12/17/15 | Neural Network Model of Memory Retrieval.
    Recanatesi S, Katkov M, Romani S, Tsodyks M
    Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. 2015 Dec 17;9:149. doi: 10.3389/fncom.2015.00149

    Human memory can store large amount of information. Nevertheless, recalling is often a challenging task. In a classical free recall paradigm, where participants are asked to repeat a briefly presented list of words, people make mistakes for lists as short as 5 words. We present a model for memory retrieval based on a Hopfield neural network where transition between items are determined by similarities in their long-term memory representations. Meanfield analysis of the model reveals stable states of the network corresponding (1) to single memory representations and (2) intersection between memory representations. We show that oscillating feedback inhibition in the presence of noise induces transitions between these states triggering the retrieval of different memories. The network dynamics qualitatively predicts the distribution of time intervals required to recall new memory items observed in experiments. It shows that items having larger number of neurons in their representation are statistically easier to recall and reveals possible bottlenecks in our ability of retrieving memories. Overall, we propose a neural network model of information retrieval broadly compatible with experimental observations and is consistent with our recent graphical model (Romani et al., 2013).

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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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    12/15/15 | Direct in vivo manipulation and imaging of calcium transients in neutrophils identify a critical role for leading-edge calcium flux.
    Beerman RW, Matty MA, Au GG, Looger LL, Choudhury KR, Keller PJ, Tobin DM
    Cell Reports. 2015 Dec 15;13(10):2107-17. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.11.010

    Calcium signaling has long been associated with key events of immunity, including chemotaxis, phagocytosis, and activation. However, imaging and manipulation of calcium flux in motile immune cells in live animals remain challenging. Using light-sheet microscopy for in vivo calcium imaging in zebrafish, we observe characteristic patterns of calcium flux triggered by distinct events, including phagocytosis of pathogenic bacteria and migration of neutrophils toward inflammatory stimuli. In contrast to findings from ex vivo studies, we observe enriched calcium influx at the leading edge of migrating neutrophils. To directly manipulate calcium dynamics in vivo, we have developed transgenic lines with cell-specific expression of the mammalian TRPV1 channel, enabling ligand-gated, reversible, and spatiotemporal control of calcium influx. We find that controlled calcium influx can function to help define the neutrophil's leading edge. Cell-specific TRPV1 expression may have broad utility for precise control of calcium dynamics in other immune cell types and organisms.

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    12/11/15 | Efficient classifier training to minimize false merges in electron microscopy segmentation.
    Parag T, Ciresan D, Giusti A
    IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision. 2015:657-65
    12/11/15 | Synthesis of a far-red photoactivatable silicon-containing rhodamine for super-resolution microscopy.
    Grimm JB, Klein T, Kopek BG, Shtengel G, Hess HF, Sauer M, Lavis LD
    Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). 2015 Dec 11;55(5):1723-7. doi: 10.1002/anie.201509649

    The rhodamine system is a flexible framework for building small-molecule fluorescent probes. Changing N-substitution patterns and replacing the xanthene oxygen with a dimethylsilicon moiety can shift the absorption and fluorescence emission maxima of rhodamine dyes to longer wavelengths. Acylation of the rhodamine nitrogen atoms forces the molecule to adopt a nonfluorescent lactone form, providing a convenient method to make fluorogenic compounds. Herein, we take advantage of all of these structural manipulations and describe a novel photoactivatable fluorophore based on a Si-containing analogue of Q-rhodamine. This probe is the first example of a "caged" Si-rhodamine, exhibits higher photon counts compared to established localization microscopy dyes, and is sufficiently red-shifted to allow multicolor imaging. The dye is a useful label for super-resolution imaging and constitutes a new scaffold for far-red fluorogenic molecules.

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