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Drosophila optogenetics

Xiaomin Xing, Chun-Fang Wu
GCaMP is an optogenetic Ca2+ sensor widely used for monitoring neuronal activities but the precise physiological implications of GCaMP signals remain to be further delineated among functionally distinct synapses. The Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ), a powerful genetic system for studying synaptic function and plasticity, consists of tonic and phasic glutamatergic and modulatory aminergic motor terminals of distinct properties. We report a first simultaneous imaging and electric recording study to directly contrast the frequency characteristics of GCaMP signals of the three synapses for physiological implications...
January 2018: ENeuro
Aditi Mishra, Autoosa Salari, Benton R Berigan, Kayla C Miguel, Marzie Amirshenava, Abbey Robinson, Benjamin C Zars, Jenna L Lin, Lorin S Milescu, Mirela Milescu, Troy Zars
Extrinsic control of single neurons and neuronal populations is a powerful approach for understanding how neural circuits function. Adding new thermogenetic tools to existing optogenetic and other forms of intervention will increase the complexity of questions that can be addressed. A good candidate for developing new thermogenetic tools is the Drosophila gustatory receptor family, which has been implicated in high-temperature avoidance behavior. We examined the five members of the Gr28b gene cluster for temperature-dependent properties via three approaches: biophysical characterization in Xenopus oocytes, functional calcium imaging in Drosophila motor neurons, and behavioral assays in adult Drosophila...
January 17, 2018: Scientific Reports
Thierry Louis, Aaron Stahl, Tamara Boto, Seth M Tomchik
Learning and memory rely on dopamine and downstream cAMP-dependent plasticity across diverse organisms. Despite the central role of cAMP signaling, it is not known how cAMP-dependent plasticity drives coherent changes in neuronal physiology that encode the memory trace, or engram. In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) is critically involved in olfactory classical conditioning, and cAMP signaling molecules are necessary and sufficient for normal memory in intrinsic MB neurons. To evaluate the role of cAMP-dependent plasticity in learning, we examined how cAMP manipulations and olfactory classical conditioning modulate olfactory responses in the MB with in vivo imaging...
December 28, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Rebecca C Adikes, Ryan A Hallett, Brian F Saway, Brian Kuhlman, Kevin C Slep
We developed a novel optogenetic tool, SxIP-improved light-inducible dimer (iLID), to facilitate the reversible recruitment of factors to microtubule (MT) plus ends in an end-binding protein-dependent manner using blue light. We show that SxIP-iLID can track MT plus ends and recruit tgRFP-SspB upon blue light activation. We used this system to investigate the effects of cross-linking MT plus ends and F-actin in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells to gain insight into spectraplakin function and mechanism. We show that SxIP-iLID can be used to temporally recruit an F-actin binding domain to MT plus ends and cross-link the MT and F-actin networks...
December 19, 2017: Journal of Cell Biology
Prameet Kaur, Timothy E Saunders, Nicholas S Tolwinski
Optogenetics allows precise, fast and reversible intervention in biological processes. Light-sheet microscopy allows observation of the full course of Drosophila embryonic development from egg to larva. Bringing the two approaches together allows unparalleled precision into the temporal regulation of signaling pathways and cellular processes in vivo. To develop this method, we investigated the regulation of canonical Wnt signaling during anterior-posterior patterning of the Drosophila embryonic epidermis. Cryptochrome 2 (CRY2) from Arabidopsis Thaliana was fused to mCherry fluorescent protein and Drosophila β-catenin to form an easy to visualize optogenetic switch...
November 30, 2017: Scientific Reports
Ryoya Tanaka, Tomohiro Higuchi, Soh Kohatsu, Kosei Sato, Daisuke Yamamoto
It remains an enigma how the nervous system of different animal species produces different behaviors. We studied the neural circuitry for mating behavior in Drosophila subobscura , a species that displays unique courtship actions not shared by other members of the genera including the genetic model D. melanogaster , in which the core courtship circuitry has been identified. We disrupted the D. subobscura fruitless ( fru ) gene, a master regulator for the courtship circuitry formation in D. melanogaster , resulting in complete loss of mating behavior...
November 29, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Jonas Wietek, Silvia Rodriguez-Rozada, Janine Tutas, Federico Tenedini, Christiane Grimm, Thomas G Oertner, Peter Soba, Peter Hegemann, J Simon Wiegert
Genetic engineering of natural light-gated ion channels has proven a powerful way to generate optogenetic tools for a wide variety of applications. In recent years, blue-light activated engineered anion-conducting channelrhodopsins (eACRs) have been developed, improved, and were successfully applied in vivo. We asked whether the approaches used to create eACRs can be transferred to other well-characterized cation-conducting channelrhodopsins (CCRs) to obtain eACRs with a broad spectrum of biophysical properties...
November 2, 2017: Scientific Reports
Alex S Mauss, Christian Busch, Alexander Borst
Optogenetic channels and ion pumps have become indispensable tools in neuroscience to manipulate neuronal activity and thus to establish synaptic connectivity and behavioral causality. Inhibitory channels are particularly advantageous to explore signal processing in neural circuits since they permit the functional removal of selected neurons on a trial-by-trial basis. However, applying these tools to study the visual system poses a considerable challenge because the illumination required for their activation usually also stimulates photoreceptors substantially, precluding the simultaneous probing of visual responses...
October 23, 2017: Scientific Reports
Stefanie Hampel, Claire E McKellar, Julie H Simpson, Andrew M Seeds
A central model that describes how behavioral sequences are produced features a neural architecture that readies different movements simultaneously, and a mechanism where prioritized suppression between the movements determines their sequential performance. We previously described a model whereby suppression drives a Drosophila grooming sequence that is induced by simultaneous activation of different sensory pathways that each elicit a distinct movement (Seeds et al., 2014). Here, we confirm this model using transgenic expression to identify and optogenetically activate sensory neurons that elicit specific grooming movements...
September 9, 2017: ELife
Tyler Kennedy, Kendal Broadie
Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) loss causes Fragile X syndrome (FXS), a major disorder characterized by autism, intellectual disability, hyperactivity, and seizures. FMRP is both an RNA- and channel-binding regulator, with critical roles in neural circuit formation and function. However, it remains unclear how these FMRP activities relate to each other and how dysfunction in their absence underlies FXS neurological symptoms. In testing circuit level defects in the Drosophila FXS model, we discovered a completely unexpected and highly robust neuronal dye iontophoresis phenotype in the well mapped giant fiber (GF) circuit...
October 11, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Lisha Shao, Mathias Saver, Phuong Chung, Qingzhong Ren, Tzumin Lee, Clement F Kent, Ulrike Heberlein
In their classic experiments, Olds and Milner showed that rats learn to lever press to receive an electric stimulus in specific brain regions. This led to the identification of mammalian reward centers. Our interest in defining the neuronal substrates of reward perception in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster prompted us to develop a simpler experimental approach wherein flies could implement behavior that induces self-stimulation of specific neurons in their brains. The high-throughput assay employs optogenetic activation of neurons when the fly occupies a specific area of a behavioral chamber, and the flies' preferential occupation of this area reflects their choosing to experience optogenetic stimulation...
September 19, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Atit A Patel, Daniel N Cox
To investigate cellular, molecular and behavioral mechanisms of noxious cold detection, we developed cold plate behavioral assays and quantitative means for evaluating the predominant noxious cold-evoked contraction behavior. To characterize neural activity in response to noxious cold, we implemented a GCaMP6-based calcium imaging assay enabling in vivo studies of intracellular calcium dynamics in intact Drosophila larvae. We identified Drosophila class III multidendritic (md) sensory neurons as multimodal sensors of innocuous mechanical and noxious cold stimuli and to dissect the mechanistic bases of multimodal sensory processing we developed two independent functional assays...
July 5, 2017: Bio-protocol
Jiro Yoshino, Rei K Morikawa, Eri Hasegawa, Kazuo Emoto
Noxious stimuli trigger a stereotyped escape response in animals. In Drosophila larvae, class IV dendrite arborization (C4 da) sensory neurons in the peripheral nervous system are responsible for perception of multiple nociceptive modalities, including noxious heat and harsh mechanical stimulation, through distinct receptors [1-9]. Silencing or ablation of C4 da neurons largely eliminates larval responses to noxious stimuli [10-12], whereas optogenetic activation of C4 da neurons is sufficient to provoke corkscrew-like rolling behavior similar to what is observed when larvae receive noxious stimuli, such as high temperature or harsh mechanical stimulation [10-12]...
August 21, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Caleb A Doll, Dominic J Vita, Kendal Broadie
Activity-dependent synaptic remodeling occurs during early-use critical periods, when naive juveniles experience sensory input. Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) sculpts synaptic refinement in an activity sensor mechanism based on sensory cues, with FMRP loss causing the most common heritable autism spectrum disorder (ASD), fragile X syndrome (FXS). In the well-mapped Drosophila olfactory circuitry, projection neurons (PNs) relay peripheral sensory information to the central brain mushroom body (MB) learning/memory center...
August 7, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Jake Higgins, Christina Hermanns, Cole Malloy, Robin L Cooper
Optogenetics is a technique used in various animal models and holds a potential for therapeutic possibilities in mammals. There are technical issues with the use of light sensitive ion channels: reproducible effects over time, controlling where the non-native proteins are targeted within the cell and changes in the biophysical properties of the cells they are expressed in. We used a variant of channel rhodopsin (ChR2-XXL) and targeted expression in neurons of larval Drosophila to investigate the acute and chronic activation, with light pulses, of the channels on synaptic function...
December 2017: Neuroscience Research
Kengo Inada, Yoshiko Tsuchimoto, Hokto Kazama
How cell-type-specific physiological properties shape neuronal functions in a circuit remains poorly understood. We addressed this issue in the Drosophila mushroom body (MB), a higher olfactory circuit, where neurons belonging to distinct glomeruli in the antennal lobe feed excitation to three types of intrinsic neurons, α/β, α'/β', and γ Kenyon cells (KCs). Two-photon optogenetics and intracellular recording revealed that whereas glomerular inputs add similarly in all KCs, spikes were generated most readily in α'/β' KCs...
July 19, 2017: Neuron
Andre Maia Chagas, Lucia L Prieto-Godino, Aristides B Arrenberg, Tom Baden
Small, genetically tractable species such as larval zebrafish, Drosophila, or Caenorhabditis elegans have become key model organisms in modern neuroscience. In addition to their low maintenance costs and easy sharing of strains across labs, one key appeal is the possibility to monitor single or groups of animals in a behavioural arena while controlling the activity of select neurons using optogenetic or thermogenetic tools. However, the purchase of a commercial solution for these types of experiments, including an appropriate camera system as well as a controlled behavioural arena, can be costly...
July 2017: PLoS Biology
Anqi Huang, Christopher Amourda, Shaobo Zhang, Nicholas S Tolwinski, Timothy E Saunders
Morphogen gradients provide essential spatial information during development. Not only the local concentration but also duration of morphogen exposure is critical for correct cell fate decisions. Yet, how and when cells temporally integrate signals from a morphogen remains unclear. Here, we use optogenetic manipulation to switch off Bicoid-dependent transcription in the early Drosophila embryo with high temporal resolution, allowing time-specific and reversible manipulation of morphogen signalling. We find that Bicoid transcriptional activity is dispensable for embryonic viability in the first hour after fertilization, but persistently required throughout the rest of the blastoderm stage...
July 10, 2017: ELife
Franziska Ruf, Martin Fraunholz, Konrad Öchsner, Johann Kaderschabek, Christian Wegener
Eclosion in flies and other insects is a circadian-gated behaviour under control of a central and a peripheral clock. It is not influenced by the motivational state of an animal, and thus presents an ideal paradigm to study the relation and signalling pathways between central and peripheral clocks, and downstream peptidergic regulatory systems. Little is known, however, about eclosion rhythmicity under natural conditions, and research into this direction is hampered by the physically closed design of current eclosion monitoring systems...
2017: PloS One
Tetsuya Takano, Mengya Wu, Shinichi Nakamuta, Honda Naoki, Naruki Ishizawa, Takashi Namba, Takashi Watanabe, Chundi Xu, Tomonari Hamaguchi, Yoshimitsu Yura, Mutsuki Amano, Klaus M Hahn, Kozo Kaibuchi
A long-standing question in neurodevelopment is how neurons develop a single axon and multiple dendrites from common immature neurites. Long-range inhibitory signaling from the growing axon is hypothesized to prevent outgrowth of other immature neurites and to differentiate them into dendrites, but the existence and nature of this inhibitory signaling remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that axonal growth triggered by neurotrophin-3 remotely inhibits neurite outgrowth through long-range Ca(2+) waves, which are delivered from the growing axon to the cell body...
June 26, 2017: Nature Communications
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