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18 Janelia Publications

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    02/28/19 | GCIB-SEM: A path to 10 nm isotropic imaging of cubic millimeter volumes.
    Hayworth KJ, Peale DR, Januszewski M, Knott G, Lu Z, Xu CS, Hess HF
    bioRxiv. 2019 Feb 28:. doi: 10.1101/563239

    Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM) generates 3D datasets optimally suited for segmentation of cell ultrastructure and automated connectome tracing but is limited to small fields of view and is therefore incompatible with the new generation of ultrafast multibeam SEMs. In contrast, section-based techniques are multibeam-compatible but are limited in z-resolution making automatic segmentation of cellular ultrastructure difficult. Here we demonstrate a novel 3D electron microscopy technique, Gas Cluster Ion Beam SEM (GCIB-SEM), in which top-down, wide-area ion milling is performed on a series of thick sections, acquiring < 10 nm isotropic datasets of each which are then stitched together to span the full sectioned volume. Based on our results, incorporating GCIB-SEM into existing single beam and multibeam SEM workflows should be straightforward and should dramatically increase reliability while simultaneously improving z-resolution by a factor of 3 or more.

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    02/28/19 | Neural basis for looming size and velocity encoding in the Drosophila giant fiber escape pathway.
    Ache JM, Polsky J, Alghailani S, Parekh R, Breads P, Peek MY, Bock DD, von Reyn CR, Card GM
    Current Biology : CB. 2019 Feb 28;29(6):1073. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.079

    Identified neuron classes in vertebrate cortical [1-4] and subcortical [5-8] areas and invertebrate peripheral [9-11] and central [12-14] brain neuropils encode specific visual features of a panorama. How downstream neurons integrate these features to control vital behaviors, like escape, is unclear [15]. In Drosophila, the timing of a single spike in the giant fiber (GF) descending neuron [16-18] determines whether a fly uses a short or long takeoff when escaping a looming predator [13]. We previously proposed that GF spike timing results from summation of two visual features whose detection is highly conserved across animals [19]: an object's subtended angular size and its angular velocity [5-8, 11, 20, 21]. We attributed velocity encoding to input from lobula columnar type 4 (LC4) visual projection neurons, but the size-encoding source remained unknown. Here, we show that lobula plate/lobula columnar, type 2 (LPLC2) visual projection neurons anatomically specialized to detect looming [22] provide the entire GF size component. We find LPLC2 neurons to be necessary for GF-mediated escape and show that LPLC2 and LC4 synapse directly onto the GF via reconstruction in a fly brain electron microscopy (EM) volume [23]. LPLC2 silencing eliminates the size component of the GF looming response in patch-clamp recordings, leaving only the velocity component. A model summing a linear function of angular velocity (provided by LC4) and a Gaussian function of angular size (provided by LPLC2) replicates GF looming response dynamics and predicts the peak response time. We thus present an identified circuit in which information from looming feature-detecting neurons is combined by a common post-synaptic target to determine behavioral output.

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    02/25/19 | Chronology-based architecture of descending circuits that underlie the development of locomotor repertoire after birth.
    Pujala A, Koyama M
    eLife. 2019 Feb 25;8:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.42135

    The emergence of new and increasingly sophisticated behaviors after birth is accompanied by dramatic increase of newly established synaptic connections in the nervous system. Little is known, however, of how nascent connections are organized to support such new behaviors alongside existing ones. To understand this, in the larval zebrafish we examined the development of spinal pathways from hindbrain V2a neurons and the role of these pathways in the development of locomotion. We found that new projections are continually layered laterally to existing neuropil, and give rise to distinct pathways that function in parallel to existing pathways. Across these chronologically layered pathways, the connectivity patterns and biophysical properties vary systematically to support a behavioral repertoire with a wide range of kinematics and dynamics. Such layering of new parallel circuits equipped with systematically changing properties may be central to the postnatal diversification and increasing sophistication of an animal's behavioral repertoire.

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    Keleman LabFly Functional Connectome
    02/25/19 | Neuronal reactivation during post-learning sleep consolidates long-term memory in .
    Dag U, Lei Z, Le JQ, Wong A, Bushey D, Keleman K
    eLife. 2019 Feb 25;8:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.42786

    Animals consolidate some, but not all, learning experiences into long-term memory. Across the animal kingdom, sleep has been found to have a beneficial effect on the consolidation of recently formed memories into long-term storage. However, the underlying mechanisms of sleep dependent memory consolidation are poorly understood. Here, we show that consolidation of courtship long-term memory in is mediated by reactivation during sleep of dopaminergic neurons that were earlier involved in memory acquisition. We identify specific fan-shaped body neurons that induce sleep after the learning experience and activate dopaminergic neurons for memory consolidation. Thus, we provide a direct link between sleep, neuronal reactivation of dopaminergic neurons, and memory consolidation.

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    02/23/19 | Analysis of phosphatidylinositol transfer at ER-PM junctions in receptor-stimulated live cells.
    Chang C, Liou J
    Methods in Molecular Biology. 2019 Feb 23;1949:1-11. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9136-5_1

    Phosphatidylinositol (PI) is an inositol-containing phospholipid synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). PI is a precursor lipid for PI 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P) in the plasma membrane (PM) important for Ca signaling in response to extracellular stimuli. Thus, ER-to-PM PI transfer becomes essential for cells to maintain PI(4,5)P homeostasis during receptor stimulation. In this chapter, we discuss two live-cell imaging protocols to analyze ER-to-PM PI transfer at ER-PM junctions, where the two membrane compartments make close appositions accommodating PI transfer. First, we describe how to monitor PI(4,5)P replenishment following receptor stimulation, as a readout of PI transfer, using a PI(4,5)P biosensor and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. The second protocol directly visualizes PI transfer proteins that accumulate at ER-PM junctions and mediate PI(4,5)P replenishment with PI in the ER in stimulated cells. These methods provide spatial and temporal analysis of ER-to-PM PI transfer during receptor stimulation and can be adapted to other research questions related to this topic.

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    Svoboda Lab
    02/21/19 | Principles governing the dynamics of GABAergic interneurons in the barrel cortex.
    Yu J, Hu H, Agmon A, Svoboda K
    bioRxiv. 2019 Feb 21:. doi: 10.1101/554949

    Information processing in the neocortex is performed by GABAergic interneurons that are integrated with excitatory neurons into precisely structured circuits. To reveal how each neuron type shapes sensory representations, we measured spikes and membrane potential of specific types of neurons in the barrel cortex while mice performed an active, whisker-dependent object localization task. Whiskers were tracked with millisecond precision. Fast-spiking (FS) neurons were activated by touch with short latency and by whisking. FS neurons track thalamic input and provide feedforward inhibition. Somatostatin (SOM)-expressing neurons were also excited by touch, but with a delay (5 ms) compared to excitatory (E) and FS neurons. SOM neurons monitor local excitation and provide feedback inhibition. Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)-expressing neurons were not driven by touch but elevated their spike rate during whisking, disinhibiting E and FS neurons. Our data reveal rules of recruitment for specific interneuron types, providing foundations for understanding cortical computations.

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    02/18/19 | Heterogeneity within classical cell types is the rule: lessons from hippocampal pyramidal neurons.
    Cembrowski MS, Spruston N
    Nature Reviews. Neuroscience. 2019 Feb 18;20(4):193-204. doi: 10.1038/s41583-019-0125-5

    The mechanistic operation of brain regions is often interpreted by partitioning constituent neurons into 'cell types'. Historically, such cell types were broadly defined by their correspondence to gross features of the nervous system (such as cytoarchitecture). Modern-day neuroscientific techniques, enabling a more nuanced examination of neuronal properties, have illustrated a wealth of heterogeneity within these classical cell types. Here, we review the extent of this within-cell-type heterogeneity in one of the simplest cortical regions of the mammalian brain, the rodent hippocampus. We focus on the mounting evidence that the classical CA3, CA1 and subiculum pyramidal cell types all exhibit prominent and spatially patterned within-cell-type heterogeneity, and suggest these cell types provide a model system for exploring the organization and function of such heterogeneity. Given that the hippocampus is structurally simple and evolutionarily ancient, within-cell-type heterogeneity is likely to be a general and crucial feature of the mammalian brain.

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    02/13/19 | Dystroglycan is a scaffold for extracellular axon guidance decisions.
    Lindenmaier LB, Parmentier N, Guo C, Tissir F, Wright KM
    eLife. 2019 Feb 13;8:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.42143

    Axon guidance requires interactions between extracellular signaling molecules and transmembrane receptors, but how appropriate context-dependent decisions are coordinated outside the cell remains unclear. Here we show that the transmembrane glycoprotein Dystroglycan interacts with a changing set of environmental cues that regulate the trajectories of extending axons throughout the mammalian brain and spinal cord. Dystroglycan operates primarily as an extracellular scaffold during axon guidance, as it functions non-cell autonomously and does not require signaling through its intracellular domain. We identify the transmembrane receptor Celsr3/Adgrc3 as a binding partner for Dystroglycan, and show that this interaction is critical for specific axon guidance events . These findings establish Dystroglycan as a multifunctional scaffold that coordinates extracellular matrix proteins, secreted cues, and transmembrane receptors to regulate axon guidance.

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    02/13/19 | Regulation of plasma membrane nanodomains of the water channel aquaporin-3 revealed by fixed and live photoactivated localization microscopy.
    Arnspang EC, Sengupta P, Mortensen KI, Jensen HH, Hahn U, Jensen EB, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Nejsum LN
    Nano Letters. 2019 Feb 13;19(2):699-707. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b03721

    Several aquaporin (AQP) water channels are short-term regulated by the messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), including AQP3. Bulk measurements show that cAMP can change diffusive properties of AQP3; however, it remains unknown how elevated cAMP affects AQP3 organization at the nanoscale. Here we analyzed AQP3 nano-organization following cAMP stimulation using photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) of fixed cells combined with pair correlation analysis. Moreover, in live cells, we combined PALM acquisitions of single fluorophores with single-particle tracking (spt-PALM). These analyses revealed that AQP3 tends to cluster and that the diffusive mobility is confined to nanodomains with radii of ∼150 nm. This domain size increases by ∼30% upon elevation of cAMP, which, however, is not accompanied by a significant increase in the confined diffusion coefficient. This regulation of AQP3 organization at the nanoscale may be important for understanding the mechanisms of water AQP3-mediated water transport across plasma membranes.

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    Looger Lab
    02/12/19 | A genetically encoded single-wavelength sensor for imaging cytosolic and cell surface ATP.
    Lobas MA, Tao R, Nagai J, Kronschläger MT, Borden PM, Marvin JS, Looger LL, Khakh BS
    Nature Communications. 2019 Feb 12;10(1):711. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-08441-5

    Adenosine 5' triphosphate (ATP) is a universal intracellular energy source and an evolutionarily ancient, ubiquitous extracellular signal in diverse species. Here, we report the generation and characterization of single-wavelength genetically encoded fluorescent sensors (iATPSnFRs) for imaging extracellular and cytosolic ATP from insertion of circularly permuted superfolder GFP into the epsilon subunit of FF-ATPase from Bacillus PS3. On the cell surface and within the cytosol, iATPSnFR responds to relevant ATP concentrations (30 μM to 3 mM) with fast increases in fluorescence. iATPSnFRs can be genetically targeted to specific cell types and sub-cellular compartments, imaged with standard light microscopes, do not respond to other nucleotides and nucleosides, and when fused with a red fluorescent protein function as ratiometric indicators. After careful consideration of their modest pH sensitivity, iATPSnFRs represent promising reagents for imaging ATP in the extracellular space and within cells during a variety of settings, and for further application-specific refinements.

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