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1410 Janelia Publications

Showing 1371-1380 of 1410 results
04/02/08 | Automatic recognition of cells (ARC) for 3D images of C. elegans.
Long F, Peng H, Liu X, Kim SK, Myers E
Proceedings of the 2008 Conference on Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB) (Singapore, 2008). 2008 Apr 2:

The development of high-resolution microscopy makes possible the high-throughput screening of cellular information, such as gene expression at single cell resolution. One of the critical enabling techniques yet to be developed is the automatic recognition or annotation of specific cells in a 3D image stack. In this paper, we present a novel graph-based algorithm, ARC, that determines cell identities in a 3D confocal image of C. elegans based on their highly stereotyped arrangement. This is an essential step in our work on gene expression analysis of C. elegans at the resolution of single cells. Our ARC method integrates both the absolute and relative spatial locations of cells in a C. elegans body. It uses a marker-guided, spatially-constrained, two-stage bipartite matching to find the optimal match between cells in a subject image and cells in 15 template images that have been manually annotated and vetted. We applied ARC to the recognition of cells in 3D confocal images of the first larval stage (L1) of C. elegans hermaphrodites, and achieved an average accuracy of 94.91%.

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Magee Lab
03/27/08 | Compartmentalized dendritic plasticity and input feature storage in neurons.
Losonczy A, Makara JK, Magee JC
Nature. 2008 Mar 27;452(7186):436-41. doi: 10.1038/nature06725

Although information storage in the central nervous system is thought to be primarily mediated by various forms of synaptic plasticity, other mechanisms, such as modifications in membrane excitability, are available. Local dendritic spikes are nonlinear voltage events that are initiated within dendritic branches by spatially clustered and temporally synchronous synaptic input. That local spikes selectively respond only to appropriately correlated input allows them to function as input feature detectors and potentially as powerful information storage mechanisms. However, it is currently unknown whether any effective form of local dendritic spike plasticity exists. Here we show that the coupling between local dendritic spikes and the soma of rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons can be modified in a branch-specific manner through an N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent regulation of dendritic Kv4.2 potassium channels. These data suggest that compartmentalized changes in branch excitability could store multiple complex features of synaptic input, such as their spatio-temporal correlation. We propose that this ’branch strength potentiation’ represents a previously unknown form of information storage that is distinct from that produced by changes in synaptic efficacy both at the mechanistic level and in the type of information stored.

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03/19/08 | Characterization and subcellular targeting of GCaMP-type genetically-encoded calcium indicators.
Mao T, O’Connor DH, Scheuss V, Nakai J, Svoboda K
PLoS One. 2008 Mar 19;3(3):e1796. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001796

Genetically-encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) hold the promise of monitoring [Ca(2+)] in selected populations of neurons and in specific cellular compartments. Relating GECI fluorescence to neuronal activity requires quantitative characterization. We have characterized a promising new genetically-encoded calcium indicator-GCaMP2-in mammalian pyramidal neurons. Fluorescence changes in response to single action potentials (17+/-10% DeltaF/F [mean+/-SD]) could be detected in some, but not all, neurons. Trains of high-frequency action potentials yielded robust responses (302+/-50% for trains of 40 action potentials at 83 Hz). Responses were similar in acute brain slices from in utero electroporated mice, indicating that long-term expression did not interfere with GCaMP2 function. Membrane-targeted versions of GCaMP2 did not yield larger signals than their non-targeted counterparts. We further targeted GCaMP2 to dendritic spines to monitor Ca(2+) accumulations evoked by activation of synaptic NMDA receptors. We observed robust DeltaF/F responses (range: 37%-264%) to single spine uncaging stimuli that were correlated with NMDA receptor currents measured through a somatic patch pipette. One major drawback of GCaMP2 was its low baseline fluorescence. Our results show that GCaMP2 is improved from the previous versions of GCaMP and may be suited to detect bursts of high-frequency action potentials and synaptic currents in vivo.

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03/19/08 | Serial section scanning electron microscopy of adult brain tissue using focused ion beam milling.
Knott G, Marchman H, Wall D, Lich B
The Journal of Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2008 Mar 19;28(12):2959-64. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3189-07.2008
03/13/08 | Genetic dissection of neural circuits.
Luo L, Callaway EM, Svoboda K
Neuron. 2008 Mar 13;57:634-60. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.01.002

Understanding the principles of information processing in neural circuits requires systematic characterization of the participating cell types and their connections, and the ability to measure and perturb their activity. Genetic approaches promise to bring experimental access to complex neural systems, including genetic stalwarts such as the fly and mouse, but also to nongenetic systems such as primates. Together with anatomical and physiological methods, cell-type-specific expression of protein markers and sensors and transducers will be critical to construct circuit diagrams and to measure the activity of genetically defined neurons. Inactivation and activation of genetically defined cell types will establish causal relationships between activity in specific groups of neurons, circuit function, and animal behavior. Genetic analysis thus promises to reveal the logic of the neural circuits in complex brains that guide behaviors. Here we review progress in the genetic analysis of neural circuits and discuss directions for future research and development.

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03/09/08 | Pyramidal neurons: dendritic structure and synaptic integration.
Spruston N
Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 2008 Mar;9(3):206-21. doi: 10.1038/nrn2286

Pyramidal neurons are characterized by their distinct apical and basal dendritic trees and the pyramidal shape of their soma. They are found in several regions of the CNS and, although the reasons for their abundance remain unclear, functional studies--especially of CA1 hippocampal and layer V neocortical pyramidal neurons--have offered insights into the functions of their unique cellular architecture. Pyramidal neurons are not all identical, but some shared functional principles can be identified. In particular, the existence of dendritic domains with distinct synaptic inputs, excitability, modulation and plasticity appears to be a common feature that allows synapses throughout the dendritic tree to contribute to action-potential generation. These properties support a variety of coincidence-detection mechanisms, which are likely to be crucial for synaptic integration and plasticity.

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Fetter Lab
02/07/08 | GFP Reconstitution Across Synaptic Partners (GRASP) defines cell contacts and synapses in living nervous systems.
Feinberg EH, Vanhoven MK, Bendesky A, Wang G, Fetter RD, Shen K, Bargmann CI
Neuron. 2008 Feb 7;57(3):353-63. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.11.030

The identification of synaptic partners is challenging in dense nerve bundles, where many processes occupy regions beneath the resolution of conventional light microscopy. To address this difficulty, we have developed GRASP, a system to label membrane contacts and synapses between two cells in living animals. Two complementary fragments of GFP are expressed on different cells, tethered to extracellular domains of transmembrane carrier proteins. When the complementary GFP fragments are fused to ubiquitous transmembrane proteins, GFP fluorescence appears uniformly along membrane contacts between the two cells. When one or both GFP fragments are fused to synaptic transmembrane proteins, GFP fluorescence is tightly localized to synapses. GRASP marks known synaptic contacts in C. elegans, correctly identifies changes in mutants with altered synaptic specificity, and can uncover new information about synaptic locations as confirmed by electron microscopy. GRASP may prove particularly useful for defining connectivity in complex nervous systems.

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02/01/08 | Distribution of bursting neurons in the CA1 region and the subiculum of the rat hippocampus.
Jarsky T, Mady R, Kennedy B, Spruston N
Journal of Comparative Neurology. 2008 Feb 1;506(4):535-47. doi: 10.1002/cne.21564

We performed patch-clamp recordings from morphologically identified and anatomically mapped pyramidal neurons of the ventral hippocampus to test the hypothesis that bursting neurons are distributed on a gradient from the CA2/CA1 border (proximal) through the subiculum (distal), with more bursting observed at distal locations. We find that the well-defined morphological boundaries between the hippocampal subregions CA1 and subiculum do not correspond to abrupt changes in electrophysiological properties. Rather, we observed that the percentage of bursting neurons is linearly correlated with position in the proximal-distal axis across the CA1 and the subiculum, the percentages of bursting neurons being 10% near the CA1-CA2 border, 24% at the CA1-subiculum border, and higher than 50% in the distal subiculum. The distribution of bursting neurons was paralleled by a gradient in afterdepolarization (ADP) amplitude. We also tested the hypothesis that there was an association between bursting and two previously described morphologically distinct groups of pyramidal neurons (twin and single apical dendrites) in the CA1 region. We found no difference in output mode between single and twin apical dendrite morphologies, which was consistent with the observation that the two morphologies were equally distributed across the transverse axis of the CA1 region. Taken together with the known organization of connections from CA3 to CA1 and CA1 to subiculum, our results indicate that bursting neurons are most likely to be connected to regular spiking neurons and vice versa.

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02/01/08 | High-density mapping of single-molecule trajectories with photoactivated localization microscopy. (With commentary)
Manley S, Gillette JM, Patterson GH, Shroff H, Hess HF, Betzig E, Lippincott-Schwartz J
Nature Methods. 2008 Feb;5(2):155-7. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1176

We combined photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) with live-cell single-particle tracking to create a new method termed sptPALM. We created spatially resolved maps of single-molecule motions by imaging the membrane proteins Gag and VSVG, and obtained several orders of magnitude more trajectories per cell than traditional single-particle tracking enables. By probing distinct subsets of molecules, sptPALM can provide insight into the origins of spatial and temporal heterogeneities in membranes.

Commentary: As a stepping stone to true live cell PALM (see above), our collaborator Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz suggested using the sparse photoactivation principle of PALM to track the nanoscale motion of thousands of individual molecules within a single living cell. Termed single particle tracking PALM (sptPALM), Jennifer’s postdocs Suliana Manley and Jen Gillette used the method in our PALM rig to create spatially resolved maps of diffusion rates in the plasma membrane of live cells. sptPALM is a powerful tool to study the active cytoskeletal or passive diffusional transport of individual molecules with far more measurements per cell than is possible without sparse photoactivation.

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02/01/08 | High-speed, low-photodamage nonlinear imaging using passive pulse splitters.
Ji N, Magee JC, Betzig E
Nature Methods. 2008 Feb;5(2):197-202. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1175

Pulsed lasers are key elements in nonlinear bioimaging techniques such as two-photon fluorescence excitation (TPE) microscopy. Typically, however, only a percent or less of the laser power available can be delivered to the sample before photoinduced damage becomes excessive. Here we describe a passive pulse splitter that converts each laser pulse into a fixed number of sub-pulses of equal energy. We applied the splitter to TPE imaging of fixed mouse brain slices labeled with GFP and show that, in different power regimes, the splitter can be used either to increase the signal rate more than 100-fold or to reduce the rate of photobleaching by over fourfold. In living specimens, the gains were even greater: a ninefold reduction in photobleaching during in vivo imaging of Caenorhabditis elegans larvae, and a six- to 20-fold decrease in the rate of photodamage during calcium imaging of rat hippocampal brain slices.

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