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2508 Janelia Publications

Showing 2361-2370 of 2508 results
Svoboda Lab
04/22/10 | Learning-related fine-scale specificity imaged in motor cortex circuits of behaving mice.
Komiyama T, Sato TR, O’Connor DH, Zhang Y, Huber D, Hooks BM, Gabitto M, Svoboda K
Nature. 2010 Apr 22;464(7292):1182-6. doi: 10.1038/nature08897

Cortical neurons form specific circuits, but the functional structure of this microarchitecture and its relation to behaviour are poorly understood. Two-photon calcium imaging can monitor activity of spatially defined neuronal ensembles in the mammalian cortex. Here we applied this technique to the motor cortex of mice performing a choice behaviour. Head-fixed mice were trained to lick in response to one of two odours, and to withhold licking for the other odour. Mice routinely showed significant learning within the first behavioural session and across sessions. Microstimulation and trans-synaptic tracing identified two non-overlapping candidate tongue motor cortical areas. Inactivating either area impaired voluntary licking. Imaging in layer 2/3 showed neurons with diverse response types in both areas. Activity in approximately half of the imaged neurons distinguished trial types associated with different actions. Many neurons showed modulation coinciding with or preceding the action, consistent with their involvement in motor control. Neurons with different response types were spatially intermingled. Nearby neurons (within approximately 150 mum) showed pronounced coincident activity. These temporal correlations increased with learning within and across behavioural sessions, specifically for neuron pairs with similar response types. We propose that correlated activity in specific ensembles of functionally related neurons is a signature of learning-related circuit plasticity. Our findings reveal a fine-scale and dynamic organization of the frontal cortex that probably underlies flexible behaviour.

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04/15/10 | A principal skeleton algorithm for standardizing confocal images of fruit fly nervous systems.
Qu L, Peng H
Bioinformatics. 2010 Apr 15;26(8):1091-7. doi: 10.1007/s12021-010-9090-x

The fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) is a commonly used model organism in biology. We are currently building a 3D digital atlas of the fruit fly larval nervous system (LNS) based on a large collection of fly larva GAL4 lines, each of which targets a subset of neurons. To achieve such a goal, we need to automatically align a number of high-resolution confocal image stacks of these GAL4 lines. One commonly employed strategy in image pattern registration is to first globally align images using an affine transform, followed by local non-linear warping. Unfortunately, the spatially articulated and often twisted LNS makes it difficult to globally align the images directly using the affine method. In a parallel project to build a 3D digital map of the adult fly ventral nerve cord (VNC), we are confronted with a similar problem.

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Svoboda Lab
04/07/10 | Structural plasticity underlies experience-dependent functional plasticity of cortical circuits.
Wilbrecht L, Holtmaat A, Wright N, Fox K, Svoboda K
The Journal of Neuroscience. 2010 Apr 7;30(14):4927-32. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6403-09.2010

The stabilization of new spines in the barrel cortex is enhanced after whisker trimming, but its relationship to experience-dependent plasticity is unclear. Here we show that in wild-type mice, whisker potentiation and spine stabilization are most pronounced for layer 5 neurons at the border between spared and deprived barrel columns. In homozygote alphaCaMKII-T286A mice, which lack experience-dependent potentiation of responses to spared whiskers, there is no increase in new spine stabilization at the border between barrel columns after whisker trimming. Our data provide a causal link between new spine synapses and plasticity of adult cortical circuits and suggest that alphaCaMKII autophosphorylation plays a role in the stabilization but not formation of new spines.

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Riddiford LabTruman Lab
04/01/10 | A role for juvenile hormone in the prepupal development of Drosophila melanogaster.
Riddiford LM, Truman JW, Mirth CK, Shen Y
Development. 2010 Apr;137:1117-26. doi: 10.1242/dev.037218

To elucidate the role of juvenile hormone (JH) in metamorphosis of Drosophila melanogaster, the corpora allata cells, which produce JH, were killed using the cell death gene grim. These allatectomized (CAX) larvae were smaller at pupariation and died at head eversion. They showed premature ecdysone receptor B1 (EcR-B1) in the photoreceptors and in the optic lobe, downregulation of proliferation in the optic lobe, and separation of R7 from R8 in the medulla during the prepupal period. All of these effects of allatectomy were reversed by feeding third instar larvae on a diet containing the JH mimic (JHM) pyriproxifen or by application of JH III or JHM at the onset of wandering. Eye and optic lobe development in the Methoprene-tolerant (Met)-null mutant mimicked that of CAX prepupae, but the mutant formed viable adults, which had marked abnormalities in the organization of their optic lobe neuropils. Feeding Met(27) larvae on the JHM diet did not rescue the premature EcR-B1 expression or the downregulation of proliferation but did partially rescue the premature separation of R7, suggesting that other pathways besides Met might be involved in mediating the response to JH. Selective expression of Met RNAi in the photoreceptors caused their premature expression of EcR-B1 and the separation of R7 and R8, but driving Met RNAi in lamina neurons led only to the precocious appearance of EcR-B1 in the lamina. Thus, the lack of JH and its receptor Met causes a heterochronic shift in the development of the visual system that is likely to result from some cells ’misinterpreting’ the ecdysteroid peaks that drive metamorphosis.

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Simpson Lab
04/01/10 | VAA3D enables real-time 3D visualization and quantitative analysis of large-scale biological image data sets.
Peng H, Ruan Z, Long F, Simpson JH, Myers EW
Nature Biotechnology. 2010 Apr;28:348-53. doi: 10.1038/nbt.1612

The V3D system provides three-dimensional (3D) visualization of gigabyte-sized microscopy image stacks in real time on current laptops and desktops. V3D streamlines the online analysis, measurement and proofreading of complicated image patterns by combining ergonomic functions for selecting a location in an image directly in 3D space and for displaying biological measurements, such as from fluorescent probes, using the overlaid surface objects. V3D runs on all major computer platforms and can be enhanced by software plug-ins to address specific biological problems. To demonstrate this extensibility, we built a V3D-based application, V3D-Neuron, to reconstruct complex 3D neuronal structures from high-resolution brain images. V3D-Neuron can precisely digitize the morphology of a single neuron in a fruitfly brain in minutes, with about a 17-fold improvement in reliability and tenfold savings in time compared with other neuron reconstruction tools. Using V3D-Neuron, we demonstrate the feasibility of building a 3D digital atlas of neurite tracts in the fruitfly brain.

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Svoboda Lab
03/24/10 | The functional properties of barrel cortex neurons projecting to the primary motor cortex.
Sato TR, Svoboda K
The Journal of Neuroscience. 2010 Mar 24;30(12):4256-60. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3774-09.2010

Nearby neurons, sharing the same locations within the mouse whisker map, can have dramatically distinct response properties. To understand the significance of this diversity, we studied the relationship between the responses of individual neurons and their projection targets in the mouse barrel cortex. Neurons projecting to primary motor cortex (MI) or secondary somatosensory area (SII) were labeled with red fluorescent protein (RFP) using retrograde viral infection. We used in vivo two-photon Ca(2+) imaging to map the responses of RFP-positive and neighboring L2/3 neurons to whisker deflections. Neurons projecting to MI displayed larger receptive fields compared with other neurons, including those projecting to SII. Our findings support the view that intermingled neurons in primary sensory areas send specific stimulus features to different parts of the brain.

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Svoboda Lab
02/03/10 | Vibrissa-based object localization in head-fixed mice.
O’Connor DH, Clack NG, Huber D, Komiyama T, Myers EW, Svoboda K
The Journal of Neuroscience. 2010 Feb 3;30(5):1947-67. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3762-09.2010

Linking activity in specific cell types with perception, cognition, and action, requires quantitative behavioral experiments in genetic model systems such as the mouse. In head-fixed primates, the combination of precise stimulus control, monitoring of motor output, and physiological recordings over large numbers of trials are the foundation on which many conceptually rich and quantitative studies have been built. Choice-based, quantitative behavioral paradigms for head-fixed mice have not been described previously. Here, we report a somatosensory absolute object localization task for head-fixed mice. Mice actively used their mystacial vibrissae (whiskers) to sense the location of a vertical pole presented to one side of the head and reported with licking whether the pole was in a target (go) or a distracter (no-go) location. Mice performed hundreds of trials with high performance (>90% correct) and localized to <0.95 mm (<6 degrees of azimuthal angle). Learning occurred over 1-2 weeks and was observed both within and across sessions. Mice could perform object localization with single whiskers. Silencing barrel cortex abolished performance to chance levels. We measured whisker movement and shape for thousands of trials. Mice moved their whiskers in a highly directed, asymmetric manner, focusing on the target location. Translation of the base of the whiskers along the face contributed substantially to whisker movements. Mice tended to maximize contact with the go (rewarded) stimulus while minimizing contact with the no-go stimulus. We conjecture that this may amplify differences in evoked neural activity between trial types.

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02/01/10 | Adaptive optics via pupil segmentation for high-resolution imaging in biological tissues.
Ji N, Milkie DE, Betzig E
Nature Methods. 2010 Feb;7:141-7. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1411

Biological specimens are rife with optical inhomogeneities that seriously degrade imaging performance under all but the most ideal conditions. Measuring and then correcting for these inhomogeneities is the province of adaptive optics. Here we introduce an approach to adaptive optics in microscopy wherein the rear pupil of an objective lens is segmented into subregions, and light is directed individually to each subregion to measure, by image shift, the deflection faced by each group of rays as they emerge from the objective and travel through the specimen toward the focus. Applying our method to two-photon microscopy, we could recover near-diffraction-limited performance from a variety of biological and nonbiological samples exhibiting aberrations large or small and smoothly varying or abruptly changing. In particular, results from fixed mouse cortical slices illustrate our ability to improve signal and resolution to depths of 400 microm.

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02/01/10 | Adaptive optics via pupil segmentation for high-resolution imaging in biological tissues. (With commentary)
Ji N, Milkie DE, Betzig E
Nature Methods. 2010 Feb;7:141-7. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1411

Biological specimens are rife with optical inhomogeneities that seriously degrade imaging performance under all but the most ideal conditions. Measuring and then correcting for these inhomogeneities is the province of adaptive optics. Here we introduce an approach to adaptive optics in microscopy wherein the rear pupil of an objective lens is segmented into subregions, and light is directed individually to each subregion to measure, by image shift, the deflection faced by each group of rays as they emerge from the objective and travel through the specimen toward the focus. Applying our method to two-photon microscopy, we could recover near-diffraction-limited performance from a variety of biological and nonbiological samples exhibiting aberrations large or small and smoothly varying or abruptly changing. In particular, results from fixed mouse cortical slices illustrate our ability to improve signal and resolution to depths of 400 microm.

Commentary: Introduces a new, zonal approach to adaptive optics (AO) in microscopy suitable for highly inhomogeneous and/or scattering samples such as living tissue. The method is unique in its ability to handle large amplitude aberrations (>20 wavelengths), including spatially complex aberrations involving high order modes beyond the ability of most AO actuators to correct. As befitting a technique designed for in vivo fluorescence imaging, it is also photon efficient.
Although used here in conjunction with two photon microscopy to demonstrate correction deep into scattering tissue, the same principle of pupil segmentation might be profitably adapted to other point-scanning or widefield methods. For example, plane illumination microscopy of multicellular specimens is often beset by substantial aberrations, and all far-field superresolution methods are exquisitely sensitive to aberrations.

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02/01/10 | Birth time/order-dependent neuron type specification.
Kao C, Lee T
Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 2010 Feb;20(1):14-21. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2009.10.017

Neurons derived from the same progenitor may acquire different fates according to their birth timing/order. To reveal temporally guided cell fates, we must determine neuron types as well as their lineage relationships and times of birth. Recent advances in genetic lineage analysis and fate mapping are facilitating such studies. For example, high-resolution lineage analysis can identify each sequentially derived neuron of a lineage and has revealed abrupt temporal identity changes in diverse Drosophila neuronal lineages. In addition, fate mapping of mouse neurons made from the same pool of precursors shows production of specific neuron types in specific temporal patterns. The tools used in these analyses are helping to further our understanding of the genetics of neuronal temporal identity.

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