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42 Janelia Publications

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    11/18/19 | Gas cluster ion beam SEM for imaging of large tissue samples with 10 nm isotropic resolution.
    Hayworth KJ, Peale D, Januszewski M, Knott GW, Lu Z, Xu CS, Hess HF
    Nature Methods. 2019 Nov 18:. doi: 10.1038/s41592-019-0641-2

    We demonstrate gas cluster ion beam scanning electron microscopy (SEM), in which wide-area ion milling is performed on a series of thick tissue sections. This three-dimensional electron microscopy technique acquires datasets with <10 nm isotropic resolution of each section, and these can then be stitched together to span the sectioned volume. Incorporating gas cluster ion beam SEM into existing single-beam and multibeam SEM workflows should be straightforward, increasing reliability while improving z resolution by a factor of three or more.

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    06/21/19 | Spastin tethers lipid droplets to peroxisomes and directs fatty acid trafficking through ESCRT-III.
    Chang C, Weigel AV, Ioannou MS, Pasolli HA, Xu CS, Peale DR, Shtengel G, Freeman M, Hess HF, Blackstone C, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    Journal of Cell Biology. 2019 Jun 21;218(8):2583-99. doi: 10.1101/544023

    Lipid droplets (LDs) are neutral lipid storage organelles that transfer lipids to various organelles including peroxisomes. Here, we show that the hereditary spastic paraplegia protein M1 Spastin, a membrane-bound AAA ATPase found on LDs, coordinates fatty acid (FA) trafficking from LDs to peroxisomes through two inter-related mechanisms. First, M1 Spastin forms a tethering complex with peroxisomal ABCD1 to promote LD-peroxisome contact formation. Second, M1 Spastin recruits the membrane-shaping ESCRT-III proteins IST1 and CHMP1B to LDs via its MIT domain to facilitate LD-to-peroxisome FA trafficking, possibly through IST1 and CHMP1B modifying LD membrane morphology. Furthermore, M1 Spastin, IST1 and CHMP1B are all required to relieve LDs of lipid peroxidation. The roles of M1 Spastin in tethering LDs to peroxisomes and in recruiting ESCRT-III components to LD-peroxisome contact sites for FA trafficking may help explain the pathogenesis of diseases associated with defective FA metabolism in LDs and peroxisomes.

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    05/30/19 | Neuron-astrocyte metabolic coupling protects against activity-induced fatty acid toxicity.
    Ioannou MS, Jackson J, Sheu S, Chang C, Weigel AV, Liu H, Pasolli HA, Xu CS, Pang S, Matthies D, Hess HF, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Liu Z
    Cell. 2019 May 30;177(6):1522-1535.e14. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.04.001

    Metabolic coordination between neurons and astrocytes is critical for the health of the brain. However, neuron-astrocyte coupling of lipid metabolism, particularly in response to neural activity, remains largely uncharacterized. Here, we demonstrate that toxic fatty acids (FAs) produced in hyperactive neurons are transferred to astrocytic lipid droplets by ApoE-positive lipid particles. Astrocytes consume the FAs stored in lipid droplets via mitochondrial β-oxidation in response to neuronal activity and turn on a detoxification gene expression program. Our findings reveal that FA metabolism is coupled in neurons and astrocytes to protect neurons from FA toxicity during periods of enhanced activity. This coordinated mechanism for metabolizing FAs could underlie both homeostasis and a variety of disease states of the brain.

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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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    01/18/19 | Cortical column and whole-brain imaging with molecular contrast and nanoscale resolution.
    Gao R, Asano SM, Upadhyayula S, Pisarev I, Milkie DE, Liu T, Singh V, Graves AR, Huynh GH, Zhao Y, Bogovic JA, Colonell J, Ott CM, Zugates CT, Tappan S, Rodriguez A, Mosaliganti KR, Sheu S, Pasolli HA, et al
    Science (New York, N.Y.). 2019 Jan 18;363(6424):eaau8302. doi: 10.1126/science.aau8302

    Optical and electron microscopy have made tremendous inroads toward understanding the complexity of the brain. However, optical microscopy offers insufficient resolution to reveal subcellular details, and electron microscopy lacks the throughput and molecular contrast to visualize specific molecular constituents over millimeter-scale or larger dimensions. We combined expansion microscopy and lattice light-sheet microscopy to image the nanoscale spatial relationships between proteins across the thickness of the mouse cortex or the entire Drosophila brain. These included synaptic proteins at dendritic spines, myelination along axons, and presynaptic densities at dopaminergic neurons in every fly brain region. The technology should enable statistically rich, large-scale studies of neural development, sexual dimorphism, degree of stereotypy, and structural correlations to behavior or neural activity, all with molecular contrast.

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    01/09/19 | Comparisons between the ON- and OFF-edge motion pathways in the brain.
    Shinomiya K, Huang G, Lu Z, Parag T, Xu CS, Aniceto R, Ansari N, Cheatham N, Lauchie S, Neace E, Ogundeyi O, Ordish C, Peel D, Shinomiya A, Smith C, Takemura S, Talebi I, Rivlin PK, Nern A, Scheffer LK, Plaza SM, Meinertzhagen IA
    eLife. 2019 Jan 09;8:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.40025

    Understanding the circuit mechanisms behind motion detection is a long-standing question in visual neuroscience. In , recent synapse-level connectomes in the optic lobe, particularly in ON-pathway (T4) receptive-field circuits, in concert with physiological studies, suggest an increasingly intricate motion model compared with the ubiquitous Hassenstein-Reichardt model, while our knowledge of OFF-pathway (T5) has been incomplete. Here we present a conclusive and comprehensive connectome that for the first time integrates detailed connectivity information for inputs to both T4 and T5 pathways in a single EM dataset covering the entire optic lobe. With novel reconstruction methods using automated synapse prediction suited to such a large connectome, we successfully corroborate previous findings in the T4 pathway and comprehensively identify inputs and receptive fields for T5. While the two pathways are likely evolutionarily linked and indeed exhibit many similarities, we uncover interesting differences and interactions that may underlie their distinct functional properties.

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    11/01/18 | A resource for the antennal lobe provided by the connectome of glomerulus VA1v.
    Horne JA, Langille C, McLin S, Wiederman M, Lu Z, Xu CS, Plaza SM, Scheffer LK, Hess HF, Meinertzhagen IA
    eLife. 2018 Nov 01;7:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.37550

    Using FIB-SEM we report the entire synaptic connectome of glomerulus VA1v of the right antennal lobe in . Within the glomerulus we densely reconstructed all neurons, including hitherto elusive local interneurons. The -positive, sexually dimorphic VA1v included >11,140 presynaptic sites with ~38,050 postsynaptic dendrites. These connected input olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs, 51 ipsilateral, 56 contralateral), output projection neurons (18 PNs), and local interneurons (56 of >150 previously reported LNs). ORNs are predominantly presynaptic and PNs predominantly postsynaptic; newly reported LN circuits are largely an equal mixture and confer extensive synaptic reciprocity, except the newly reported LN2V with input from ORNs and outputs mostly to monoglomerular PNs, however. PNs were more numerous than previously reported from genetic screens, suggesting that the latter failed to reach saturation. We report a matrix of 192 bodies each having 50 connections; these form 88% of the glomerulus' pre/postsynaptic sites.

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    07/24/18 | The ESCRT-III protein CHMP1A mediates secretion of sonic hedgehog on a distinctive subtype of extracellular vesicles.
    Coulter ME, Dorobantu CM, Lodewijk GA, Delalande F, Cianferani S, Ganesh VS, Smith RS, Lim ET, Xu CS, Pang S, Wong ET, Lidov HG, Calicchio ML, Yang E, Gonzalez DM, Schlaeger TM, Mochida GH, Hess H, Lee WA, Lehtinen MK, Kirchhausen T, Haussler D, Jacobs FM, Gaudin R, Walsh CA
    Cell Reports. 2018 Jul 24;24(4):973-986.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.06.100

    Endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) complex proteins regulate biogenesis and release of extracellular vesicles (EVs), which enable cell-to-cell communication in the nervous system essential for development and adult function. We recently showed human loss-of-function (LOF) mutations in ESCRT-III member CHMP1A cause autosomal recessive microcephaly with pontocerebellar hypoplasia, but its mechanism was unclear. Here, we show Chmp1a is required for progenitor proliferation in mouse cortex and cerebellum and progenitor maintenance in human cerebral organoids. In Chmp1a null mice, this defect is associated with impaired sonic hedgehog (Shh) secretion and intraluminal vesicle (ILV) formation in multivesicular bodies (MVBs). Furthermore, we show CHMP1A is important for release of an EV subtype that contains AXL, RAB18, and TMED10 (ART) and SHH. Our findings show CHMP1A loss impairs secretion of SHH on ART-EVs, providing molecular mechanistic insights into the role of ESCRT proteins and EVs in the brain.

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    04/25/18 | A novel sheet-like virus particle array is a hallmark of Zika virus infection.
    Liu J, Kline BA, Kenny TA, Smith DR, Soloveva V, Beitzel B, Pang S, Lockett S, Hess HF, Palacios G, Kuhn JH, Sun MG, Zeng X
    Emerging Microbes & Infections. 2018 Apr 25;7(1):69. doi: 10.1038/s41426-018-0071-8

    Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging flavivirus that caused thousands of human infections in recent years. Compared to other human flaviviruses, ZIKV replication is not well understood. Using fluorescent, transmission electron, and focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy, we examined ZIKV replication dynamics in Vero 76 cells and in the brains of infected laboratory mice. We observed the progressive development of a perinuclear flaviviral replication factory both in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, we illustrated the ZIKV lifecycle from particle cell entry to egress. ZIKV particles assembled and aggregated in an induced convoluted membrane structure and ZIKV strain-specific membranous vesicles. While most mature virus particles egressed via membrane budding, some particles also likely trafficked through late endosomes and egressed through membrane abscission. Interestingly, we consistently observed a novel sheet-like virus particle array consisting of a single layer of ZIKV particles. Our study further defines ZIKV replication and identifies a novel hallmark of ZIKV infection.

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    07/18/17 | A connectome of a learning and memory center in the adult Drosophila brain.
    Takemura S, Aso Y, Hige T, Wong AM, Lu Z, Xu CS, Rivlin PK, Hess HF, Zhao T, Parag T, Berg S, Huang G, Katz WT, Olbris DJ, Plaza SM, Umayam LA, Aniceto R, Chang L, Lauchie S, et al
    eLife. 2017 Jul 18;6:e26975. doi: 10.7554/eLife.26975

    Understanding memory formation, storage and retrieval requires knowledge of the underlying neuronal circuits. In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) is the major site of associative learning. We reconstructed the morphologies and synaptic connections of all 983 neurons within the three functional units, or compartments, that compose the adult MB’s α lobe, using a dataset of isotropic 8-nm voxels collected by focused ion-beam milling scanning electron microscopy. We found that Kenyon cells (KCs), whose sparse activity encodes sensory information, each make multiple en passant synapses to MB output neurons (MBONs) in each compartment. Some MBONs have inputs from all KCs, while others differentially sample sensory modalities. Only six percent of KC>MBON synapses receive a direct synapse from a dopaminergic neuron (DAN). We identified two unanticipated classes of synapses, KC>DAN and DAN>MBON. DAN activation produces a slow depolarization of the MBON in these DAN>MBON synapses and can weaken memory recall.

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