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1391 Janelia Publications

Showing 81-90 of 1391 results
03/28/18 | Low-dimensional and monotonic preparatory activity in mouse anterior lateral motor cortex.
Inagaki HK, Inagaki M, Romani S, Svoboda K
The Journal of Neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2018 Mar 28:. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3152-17.2018

Neurons in multiple brain regions fire trains of action potentials anticipating specific movements, but this 'preparatory activity' has not been systematically compared across behavioral tasks. We compared preparatory activity in auditory and tactile delayed-response tasks in male mice. Skilled, directional licking was the motor output. The anterior lateral motor cortex (ALM) is necessary for motor planning in both tasks. Multiple features of ALM preparatory activity during the delay epoch were similar across tasks. First, majority of neurons showed direction-selective activity and spatially intermingled neurons were selective for either movement direction. Second, many cells showed mixed coding of sensory stimulus and licking direction, with a bias toward licking direction. Third, delay activity was monotonic and low-dimensional. Fourth, pairs of neurons with similar direction selectivity showed high spike-count correlations. Our study forms the foundation to analyze the neural circuit mechanisms underlying preparatory activity in a genetically tractable model organism.Short-term memories link events separated in time. Neurons in frontal cortex fire trains of action potentials anticipating specific movements, often seconds before the movement. This 'preparatory activity' has been observed in multiple brain regions, but has rarely been compared systematically across behavioral tasks in the same brain region. To identify common features of preparatory activity, we developed and compared preparatory activity in auditory and tactile delayed-response tasks in mice. The same cortical area is necessary for both tasks. Multiple features of preparatory activity, measured with high-density silicon probes, were similar across tasks. We find that preparatory activity is low-dimensional and monotonic. Our study forms the foundation to analyze the circuit mechanisms underlying preparatory activity in a genetically tractable model organism.

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03/27/18 | Dynamic cues for whisker-based object localization: An analytical solution to vibration during active whisker touch.
Vaxenburg R, Wyche I, Svoboda K, Efros AL, Hires SA
PLoS Computational Biology. 2018 Mar 27;14(3):e1006032. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006032

Vibrations are important cues for tactile perception across species. Whisker-based sensation in mice is a powerful model system for investigating mechanisms of tactile perception. However, the role vibration plays in whisker-based sensation remains unsettled, in part due to difficulties in modeling the vibration of whiskers. Here, we develop an analytical approach to calculate the vibrations of whiskers striking objects. We use this approach to quantify vibration forces during active whisker touch at a range of locations along the whisker. The frequency and amplitude of vibrations evoked by contact are strongly dependent on the position of contact along the whisker. The magnitude of vibrational shear force and bending moment is comparable to quasi-static forces. The fundamental vibration frequencies are in a detectable range for mechanoreceptor properties and below the maximum spike rates of primary sensory afferents. These results suggest two dynamic cues exist that rodents can use for object localization: vibration frequency and comparison of vibrational to quasi-static force magnitude. These complement the use of quasi-static force angle as a distance cue, particularly for touches close to the follicle, where whiskers are stiff and force angles hardly change during touch. Our approach also provides a general solution to calculation of whisker vibrations in other sensing tasks.

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03/26/18 | Photoactivatable drugs for nicotinic optopharmacology.
Banala S, Arvin MC, Bannon NM, Jin X, Macklin JJ, Wang Y, Peng C, Zhao G, Marshall JJ, Gee KR, Wokosin DL, Kim VJ, McIntosh JM, Contractor A, Lester HA, Kozorovitskiy Y, Drenan RM, Lavis LD
Nature Methods. 2018 Mar 26;15(5):347-50. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.4637

Photoactivatable pharmacological agents have revolutionized neuroscience, but the palette of available compounds is limited. We describe a general method for caging tertiary amines by using a stable quaternary ammonium linkage that elicits a red shift in the activation wavelength. We prepared a photoactivatable nicotine (PA-Nic), uncageable via one- or two-photon excitation, that is useful to study nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in different experimental preparations and spatiotemporal scales.

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03/24/18 | A proposed circuit computation in basal ganglia: History-dependent gain.
Yttri EA, Dudman JT
Movement Disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society. 2018 Mar 24:. doi: 10.1002/mds.27321

In this Scientific Perspectives we first review the recent advances in our understanding of the functional architecture of basal ganglia circuits. Then we argue that these data can best be explained by a model in which basal ganglia act to control the gain of movement kinematics to shape performance based on prior experience, which we refer to as a history-dependent gain computation. Finally, we discuss how insights from the history-dependent gain model might translate from the bench to the bedside, primarily the implications for the design of adaptive deep brain stimulation. Thus, we explicate the key empirical and conceptual support for a normative, computational model with substantial explanatory power for the broad role of basal ganglia circuits in health and disease. © 2018 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

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03/22/18 | A Neural Circuit for the Suppression of Pain by a Competing Need State.
Alhadeff AL, Su Z, Hernandez E, Klima ML, Phillips SZ, Holland RA, Guo C, Hantman AW, De Jonghe BC, Betley JN
Cell. 2018 Mar 22;173(1):140-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.02.057

Hunger and pain are two competing signals that individuals must resolve to ensure survival. However, the neural processes that prioritize conflicting survival needs are poorly understood. We discovered that hunger attenuates behavioral responses and affective properties of inflammatory pain without altering acute nociceptive responses. This effect is centrally controlled, as activity in hunger-sensitive agouti-related protein (AgRP)-expressing neurons abrogates inflammatory pain. Systematic analysis of AgRP projection subpopulations revealed that the neural processing of hunger and inflammatory pain converge in the hindbrain parabrachial nucleus (PBN). Strikingly, activity in AgRP → PBN neurons blocked the behavioral response to inflammatory pain as effectively as hunger or analgesics. The anti-nociceptive effect of hunger is mediated by neuropeptide Y (NPY) signaling in the PBN. By investigating the intersection between hunger and pain, we have identified a neural circuit that mediates competing survival needs and uncovered NPY Y1 receptor signaling in the PBN as a target for pain suppression.

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Spruston LabMenon Lab
03/22/18 | Continuous Variation within Cell Types of the Nervous System.
Cembrowski MS, Menon V
Trends in Neurosciences. 2018 Mar 22:. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2018.02.010

The brain is an organ of immense complexity. Next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) is becoming increasingly popular in the deconstruction of this complexity into distinct classes of 'cell types'. Notably, in addition to revealing the organization of this distinct cell-type landscape, the technology has also begun to illustrate that continuous variation can be found within narrowly defined cell types. Here we summarize the evidence for graded transcriptomic heterogeneity being present, widespread, and functionally relevant in the nervous system. We explain how these graded differences can map onto higher-order organizational features and how they may reframe existing interpretations of higher-order heterogeneity. Ultimately, a multimodal approach incorporating continuously variable cell types will facilitate an accurate reductionist interpretation of the nervous system.

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03/16/18 | Functional architecture of reward learning in mushroom body extrinsic neurons of larval Drosophila.
Saumweber T, Rohwedder A, Schleyer M, Eichler K, Chen Y, Aso Y, Cardona A, Eschbach C, Kobler O, Voigt A, Durairaja A, Mancini N, Zlatic M, Truman JW, Thum AS, Gerber B
Nature Communications. 2018 Mar 16;9(1):1104. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03130-1

The brain adaptively integrates present sensory input, past experience, and options for future action. The insect mushroom body exemplifies how a central brain structure brings about such integration. Here we use a combination of systematic single-cell labeling, connectomics, transgenic silencing, and activation experiments to study the mushroom body at single-cell resolution, focusing on the behavioral architecture of its input and output neurons (MBINs and MBONs), and of the mushroom body intrinsic APL neuron. Our results reveal the identity and morphology of almost all of these 44 neurons in stage 3 Drosophila larvae. Upon an initial screen, functional analyses focusing on the mushroom body medial lobe uncover sparse and specific functions of its dopaminergic MBINs, its MBONs, and of the GABAergic APL neuron across three behavioral tasks, namely odor preference, taste preference, and associative learning between odor and taste. Our results thus provide a cellular-resolution study case of how brains organize behavior.

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03/14/18 | Fabricating optical-quality glass surfaces to study macrophage fusion.
Faust JJ, Christenson W, Doudrick K, Heddleston J, Chew T, Lampe M, Balabiyev A, Ros R, Ugarova TP
Journal of Visualized Experiments : JoVE. 2018 Mar 14(133):. doi: 10.3791/56866

Visualizing the formation of multinucleated giant cells (MGCs) from living specimens has been challenging due to the fact that most live imaging techniques require propagation of light through glass, but on glass macrophage fusion is a rare event. This protocol presents the fabrication of several optical-quality glass surfaces where adsorption of compounds containing long-chain hydrocarbons transforms glass into a fusogenic surface. First, preparation of clean glass surfaces as starting material for surface modification is described. Second, a method is provided for the adsorption of compounds containing long-chain hydrocarbons to convert non-fusogenic glass into a fusogenic substrate. Third, this protocol describes fabrication of surface micropatterns that promote a high degree of spatiotemporal control over MGC formation. Finally, fabricating glass bottom dishes is described. Examples of use of this in vitro cell system as a model to study macrophage fusion and MGC formation are shown.

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Gonen Lab
03/14/18 | Integrative structure and functional anatomy of a nuclear pore complex.
Kim SJ, Fernandez-Martinez J, Nudelman I, Shi Y, Zhang W, Raveh B, Herricks T, Slaughter BD, Hogan JA, Upla P, Chemmama IE, Pellarin R, Echeverria I, Shivaraju M, Chaudhury AS, Wang J, Williams R, Unruh JR, Greenberg CH, Jacobs EY, Yu Z, de la Cruz MJ, Mironska R, Stokes DL, Aitchison JD, Jarrold MF, Gerton JL, Ludtke SJ, Akey CW, Chait BT, Sali A, Rout MP
Nature. 2018 Mar 14;555(7697):475-82. doi: 10.1038/nature26003

Nuclear pore complexes play central roles as gatekeepers of RNA and protein transport between the cytoplasm and nucleoplasm. However, their large size and dynamic nature have impeded a full structural and functional elucidation. Here we determined the structure of the entire 552-protein nuclear pore complex of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae at sub-nanometre precision by satisfying a wide range of data relating to the molecular arrangement of its constituents. The nuclear pore complex incorporates sturdy diagonal columns and connector cables attached to these columns, imbuing the structure with strength and flexibility. These cables also tie together all other elements of the nuclear pore complex, including membrane-interacting regions, outer rings and RNA-processing platforms. Inwardly directed anchors create a high density of transport factor-docking Phe-Gly repeats in the central channel, organized into distinct functional units. This integrative structure enables us to rationalize the architecture, transport mechanism and evolutionary origins of the nuclear pore complex.

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03/13/18 | Comprehensive analysis of a cis-regulatory region reveals pleiotropy in enhancer function.
Preger-Ben Noon E, Sabarís G, Ortiz DM, Sager J, Liebowitz A, Stern DL, Frankel N
Cell Reports. 2018 Mar 13;22(11):3021-3031. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.02.073

Developmental genes can have complex cis-regulatory regions with multiple enhancers. Early work revealed remarkable modularity of enhancers, whereby distinct DNA regions drive gene expression in defined spatiotemporal domains. Nevertheless, a few reports have shown that enhancers function in multiple developmental stages, implying that enhancers can be pleiotropic. Here, we have studied the activity of the enhancers of the shavenbaby gene throughout D. melanogaster development. We found that all seven shavenbaby enhancers drive expression in multiple tissues and developmental stages. We explored how enhancer pleiotropy is encoded in two of these enhancers. In one enhancer, the same transcription factor binding sites contribute to embryonic and pupal expression, revealing site pleiotropy, whereas for a second enhancer, these roles are encoded by distinct sites. Enhancer pleiotropy may be a common feature of cis-regulatory regions of developmental genes, and site pleiotropy may constrain enhancer evolution in some cases.

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