resource - Fujisawa lab

Document technical information

Format pdf
Size 3.8 MB
First found May 22, 2018

Document content analysis

Category Also themed
Language
English
Type
not defined
Concepts
no text concepts found

Persons

David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg

wikipedia, lookup

Marie Curie
Marie Curie

wikipedia, lookup

Organizations

Places

Transcript

r e so u r c e
A toolbox of Cre-dependent optogenetic transgenic
mice for light-induced activation and silencing
npg
© 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
Linda Madisen1, Tianyi Mao2,7, Henner Koch3, Jia-min Zhuo4, Antal Berenyi5, Shigeyoshi Fujisawa5,
Yun-Wei A Hsu3, Alfredo J Garcia III3, Xuan Gu4, Sebastien Zanella3, Jolene Kidney1, Hong Gu1, Yimei Mao4,
Bryan M Hooks2, Edward S Boyden6, György Buzsáki5, Jan Marino Ramirez3, Allan R Jones1, Karel Svoboda2,
Xue Han4, Eric E Turner3 & Hongkui Zeng1
Cell type–specific expression of optogenetic molecules allows temporally precise manipulation of targeted neuronal activity.
Here we present a toolbox of four knock-in mouse lines engineered for strong, Cre-dependent expression of channelrhodopsins
ChR2-tdTomato and ChR2-EYFP, halorhodopsin eNpHR3.0 and archaerhodopsin Arch-ER2. All four transgenes mediated Credependent, robust activation or silencing of cortical pyramidal neurons in vitro and in vivo upon light stimulation, with ChR2EYFP and Arch-ER2 demonstrating light sensitivity approaching that of in utero or virally transduced neurons. We further show
specific photoactivation of parvalbumin-positive interneurons in behaving ChR2-EYFP reporter mice. The robust, consistent and
inducible nature of our ChR2 mice represents a significant advance over previous lines, and the Arch-ER2 and eNpHR3.0 mice
are to our knowledge the first demonstration of successful conditional transgenic optogenetic silencing. When combined with
the hundreds of available Cre driver lines, this optimized toolbox of reporter mice will enable widespread investigations of neural
circuit function with unprecedented reliability and accuracy.
A major challenge in neuroscience is to understand how brain functions are mediated by particular cell types within neural networks.
Dissection of such complex networks requires the ability to manipulate
the activities of specific cell types and to examine the resulting effects.
A recent innovation in experimental neuroscience has been the development of light-activated channels or pumps, derived from microbial
photosynthetic systems, to modulate neural activity, known as opto­
genetics. The best-known prototypes for the application of optical
control in neurons include the neuron-activating cation channel
channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2)1–3, and the neuron-silencing chloride transporter halorhodopsin (NpHR)4,5 and proton pump archae­rhodopsin-3
(Arch)6. These and related optogenetic molecules7 allow activation or
silencing of neurons with unprecedented specificity and excellent temporal precision on a millisecond scale, and are in widespread use.
In mice, cell type–specific genetic manipulation is most widely
achieved through the Cre/loxP recombinase system. Hundreds of
Cre mouse lines, generated in individual labs and through large-scale
efforts8–10, have been established to direct specific gene expression or
deletion in a wide range of cell types or populations throughout the
nervous system. A challenge in developing optogenetic tools is the need
to express high levels of the opsins, owing to the relatively small optical
current mediated by each opsin molecule. For this reason, opsin genes
have been most often introduced in vivo using recombinant viral vectors
or by in utero electroporation (IUE). By delivering an ­adeno-associated
virus (AAV) that expresses an opsin in a Cre-dependent manner—for
example, using loxP-flanked (‘floxed’)-stop or floxed-inverse (FLEX)
cassettes11,12—it is possible to virally deliver an opsin to a brain region,
where only Cre-positive cells will activate expression of the opsin.
Although successful for many applications, these approaches possess
intrinsic limitations. They can result in incomplete coverage of neurons
within the region, which may limit experiments requiring complete
labeling (for example, neural silencing), and can result in variable opsin
expression levels across cells from the injection center out. The variability in the number and location of opsin-expressing cells between
animals necessitates laborious validation for each animal, introducing
variability in data interpretation. The brain targets of interest may be
very small, very large or hard for the virus to access for other reasons
(for example, a difficult location for injection or a particular cell type
that cannot be infected by any serotype of virus or cannot be infected
during brain development).
A transgenic mouse approach can overcome many of these limitations. However, exogenous opsin gene expression in transgenics is
typically regulated by a specific linked promoter and thus is predetermined to occur in a particular and fixed cell population13–19. A Credependent system of opsin expression would exploit the abundant
resource that available Cre-driver lines constitute and would offer a
powerful approach for controlling the activity of a wide range of cells.
However, transgenic mice with robust Cre-dependent expression of
1Allen
Institute for Brain Science, Seattle, Washington, USA. 2Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Ashburn, Virginia, USA.
for Integrative Brain Research, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA. 4Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University,
Boston, Massachusetts, USA. 5Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, USA. 6Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. 7Present address: Vollum Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA. Correspondence
should be addressed to H.Z. ([email protected]).
3Center
Received 20 December 2011; accepted 28 February 2012; published online 25 March 2012; doi:10.1038/nn.3078
nature NEUROSCIENCE VOLUME 15 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2012
793
npg
© 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
r e so u r c e
opsins have been difficult to generate, as indicated by recent characterization of a ChR2 Cre reporter20. To our knowledge, no transgenic
line with Cre-dependent expression of a silencing opsin has yet been
described. However, efforts to overcome the limitations of early versions of silencing opsins, such as protein aggregation and low conductance21, have led to the development of newer optical silencing
molecules, including eNpHR (ref. 22), eNpHR3.0 (ref. 23) and various
forms of Arch6,24, with great improvement in membrane expression
and related increase in photoconductance, making reliable genetic
silencing achievable now.
Here we report the creation of a toolbox of four new mouse
lines with high-level and Cre-dependent expression of the fluorescently tagged ChR2(H134R)-tdTomato, ChR2(H134R)-EYFP,
Arch-EGFP-ER2, or eNpHR3.0-EYFP. Inducible expression of these
opsins is driven by a specially designed expression cassette in a modified Rosa26 locus, which we recently showed capable of mediating
efficient fluorescent labeling9. Here we demonstrate that highperformance optogenetic manipulation in Cre-dependent transgenic mice is enabled for all the classes of opsin molecules using this
optimized strategy.
For all four lines, we found that cortical pyramidal neurons were
highly responsive to either light activation (ChR2s) or light inhibition
(eNpHR3.0, Arch-ER2), in both in vitro brain slice preparations and
in vivo brains of awake animals. In addition, we readily achieved light
activation of hippocampal and reticular parvalbumin (Pvalb)-positive
interneurons, as well as cortical rhythms resulting from synchronized
reticular Pvalb+ neuron activation, in behaving ChR2-EYFP mice.
These results demonstrate that selective optical activation and silencing can be applied to different cell types in different brain regions in
these mice, using a variety of photostimulation protocols. Thus, when
combined with the many publicly available Cre driver lines, these
transgenics should greatly facilitate the study of various neuronal cell
types, including those inaccessible to previous approaches.
RESULTS
Generation of mice conditionally expressing opsin genes
We previously demonstrated strong, ubiquitous, Cre-dependent
expression of fluorescent markers from a modified Rosa26 locus by
incorporating a CAG promoter and the woodchuck hepatitis virus
post-transcriptional regulatory element (WPRE)9. Using the same
expression strategy, we created four new Cre-dependent mouse lines
that express optogenetic tools: the H134R mutant of ChR2 (ref. 25)
fused to either tdTomato (Ai27; ChR2(H134R)-tdTomato) or EYFP
(Ai32; ChR2(H134R)-EYFP); a modified version of Arch (Ai35;
ss-Arch-EGFP-ER2, abbreviated as Arch-ER2)6; or eNpHR3.0
(Ai39; eNpHR3.0-EYFP)23 (Fig. 1a). ChR2(H134R) was chosen
because it produces larger conductance changes than wild-type
ChR2, likely owing to its slower deactivation kinetics. Both ArchER2 and eNpHR3.0 have Kir2.1 endoplasmic reticulum export signals
that enhance proper expression of microbial opsin proteins to the
cell membrane6,21–23.
To examine Cre-dependent expression of the optogenetic reporters,
we bred each line with Emx1-Cre mice. Consistent with Emx1-Cre’s
recombination pattern, all mice displayed strong native fluorescence throughout cortex and hippocampus (Fig. 1b). In each line,
the fluorescent fusion proteins were primarily localized to the cell
membrane with minimal accumulation in the cytoplasm. This was
best seen in the cell body layer of all hippocampal subfields (CA1,
CA3 and dentate gyrus), where the fluorescence was lower than in the
dendritic layers and was ring shaped (Fig. 1b,c). Axon fibers extending from the cortex and hippocampus, as well as their termination
794
zones (for example, thalamus), were also strongly labeled (Fig. 1b).
Axon fiber fluorescence in Emx1-Cre;Ai39 mice appeared weaker
than in other lines, indicating possible lower protein expression. We
mapped the mRNA expression of the opsin fusion genes by in situ
hybridization (ISH) on brain sections (Fig. 1d). All showed strong
ISH signals in the cortex and hippocampus at the single-cell level,
similar to expression seen in our Cre reporter mouse lines that express
fluorescent proteins9.
In the absence of Cre, we saw no leaky expression at the mRNA or
fluorescence level in Ai27 and Ai32 mice, although we did see some
leakage at the mRNA level in Ai35 and Ai39 mice (Supplementary
Figs. 1a and 2a). In addition to Emx1-Cre, strong Cre-dependent
expression of opsin-fusion genes was also seen throughout the brain
in other Cre-driver crosses (for example, Pvalb-IRES-Cre, Camk2aCreERT2, Chat-IRES-Cre) (Supplementary Figs. 1b, 2b and 3),
consistent with previous studies of our Cre-dependent fluorescent
reporter mice9. In all cases, we saw plasma membrane targeting of all
four transgenes, with no detectable intracellular protein aggregates,
as shown in the Pvalb+ interneurons in the cortex of the four types of
Pvalb-IRES-Cre/reporter mice (Supplementary Fig. 1b). Long-term
expression of these optogenetic transgenes in the various Cre-defined
cell populations did not produce observable toxicity (Supplementary
Fig. 4). The robust and widespread opsin-fusion expression observed
in these multiple lines thus suggests that a variety of cell populations will be amenable to photomanipulation by these Cre-dependent
optogenetic tools.
Effective light-activation of cortical pyramidal neurons
We investigated the photoexcitability of cortical pyramidal neurons
from Emx1-Cre;Ai27 and Emx1-Cre;Ai32 mice (abbreviated as
E-Ai27 and E-Ai32, respectively), and Ai32 alone mice not crossed
to any Cre line (−Cre), by whole-cell recordings in the barrel cortex
of acute brain slices using a previously established photostimulation
protocol26,27 (Fig. 2a), and compared them to neurons in which ChR2
was expressed by IUE. ChR2-expressing neurons showed normal resting membrane potentials (E-Ai27, −65.7 ± 1.4 mV, n = 14; E-Ai32,
−65.4 ± 1.4 mV, n = 9; Ai32 (−Cre), −66.6 ± 2.2 mV, n = 9; IUE, −66.0
± 2.4 mV, n = 6; mean ± s.e.m.). For each trial, a series of 1-ms pulses
of constant-power blue light (473 nm) was applied through an airimmersion objective, sequentially in an 8 × 16 grid pattern overlaying
cortical layers 1–5 (Fig. 2a). The grid covered the soma, dendrites and
parts of the axonal arbor of the recorded layer 2/3 pyramidal neuron
(Fig. 2b). In voltage clamp mode, modest laser powers evoked large
photocurrents in E-Ai27 and E-Ai32 cells (Fig. 2b). With high laser
powers (1,350–1,700 µW), spikes often accompanied the large photocurrents (peak current for E-Ai27, 1.51 ± 0.24 nA, n = 10; for E-Ai32:
2.01 ± 0.04 nA, n = 7). Even under high power stimulation conditions,
no detectable photocurrent was recorded from Ai32 (−Cre) control
cells (Fig. 2b, n = 9). In current clamp mode, action potentials were
evoked in 12 of 14 E-Ai27 cells (2 cells showed subthreshold or no
response); in 9 of 9 E-Ai32 cells, which is comparable to that of IUE
cells26,28; and in 0 of 9 Ai32 (−Cre) cells (Fig. 2c,d).
To compare the photosensitivity, each cell was stimulated with a
series of varying laser powers to determine the threshold for evoking an action potential (Fig. 2e). We found that E-Ai27 cells showed
substantial heterogeneity in their thresholds for spiking, whereas
E-Ai32 cells showed consistently low thresholds (Fig. 2e,f). The
average threshold powers were, for E-Ai27, 919 ± 146 µW (range,
550–1,720 µW; n = 12); E-Ai32, 67 ± 6 µW (range, 55–116 µW;
n = 9); and IUE, 56 ± 17 µW (range 8–128 µW; n = 7) (Fig. 2e).
We further found that high power stimulation consistently evoked
VOLUME 15 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2012 nature NEUROSCIENCE
r e so u r c e
npg
© 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
Figure 1 Generation and expression
characterization of the Ai27, Ai32, Ai35 and
Ai39 Cre-reporter lines. (a) Gene targeting vectors
designed to insert the Cre-dependent reporter
cassettes into intron 2 of the Rosa26 locus. After
obtaining germline-transmitted F1 mice, the pPGKneo selection cassette can be deleted by PhiC31mediated recombination between the AttB and AttP
sites, which combine into an AttL site, by breeding
with a Rosa26-PhiC31 deleter line. pA, poly(A);
pCAG, CAG promoter; pPGK, PGK promoter.
(b) tdTomato, EYFP and EGFP native fluorescence
in E-Ai27, E-Ai32, E-Ai35 and E-Ai39 mice.
Scale bar, 200 µm. (c) Confocal images of the
CA1 pyramidal neurons in the same mice as in b,
showing the cell membrane localization of
tdTomato, EYFP and EGFP fluorescence. Scale bar,
20 µm. (d) Reporter gene mRNA expression in
E-Ai27, E-Ai32, E-Ai35 and E-Ai39 mice (ages all
~56 d), using in situ hybridization (Ai27, tdTomato
riboprobe; Ai32, Ai35 and Ai39, riboprobe binding
to EGFP/EYFP). Scale bar, 200 µm.
a
Ai27: ChR2H134R-tdTomato
Ai32: ChR2H134R-EYFP
Ai35: ss-Arch-EGFP-ER2
Ai39: eNpHR3.0-EYFP
FRT loxP
5′ arm
pA AttB
loxP
pCAG
WPRE
Stop-3xpA
pCAG
b
Emx1-Cre;Ai27
action potentials on more sites of the grid for
E-Ai32 cells than for E-Ai27 cells (Fig. 2g) and
with shorter spike latencies (Fig. 2h). Notably,
low laser powers evoked action potentials in
E-Ai32 cells similarly to IUE cells, but E-Ai32
c
cells showed less variability in the number of sites
that could trigger an action potential (Fig. 2i).
Photoexcitation of axons is desirable for
stimulating long-range postsynaptic neurons. The subcellular distribution of ChR2
d
will also influence the spatial resolution of
photostimulation in brain slices and in vivo29.
Antidromic action potentials triggered in
axons can be distinguished from those triggered in the somata and dendrites because
somatic or dendritic action potentials are
associated with a slow charging phase preceding the action potential threshold, whereas
axon-initiated action potentials arrive in the
soma without previous charging30 (Fig. 2c).
By analyzing the charging phase, we categorized each action potential as originating from either somatic/dendritic or axonal
stimulation (Fig. 2d). Under our photostimulation conditions, both
E-Ai27 and E-Ai32 cells were preferentially excited in axons, whereas
E-Ai32 cells, like IUE cells, were also more readily excited in the
somata and dendrites than E-Ai27 (Supplementary Fig. 5). In sum,
our results demonstrate that whereas E-Ai27 cells are less sensitive
to photostimulation, the light response properties of E-Ai32 cells are
comparable in many aspects to those of IUE ChR2-expressing cells.
Effective light-silencing of cortical pyramidal neurons
To test light-evoked neuronal silencing, we performed whole-cell
recordings from layer 2/3 or layer 5 cortical pyramidal neurons
(Fig. 3a) in acute slice preparations taken from adult Emx1-Cre;Ai35
or Emx1-Cre;Ai39 mice (abbreviated as E-Ai35 and E-Ai39, respectively). In all pyramidal neurons tested (29/29), illumination with a
200-µm optical fiber coupled to a 593-nm yellow laser caused marked
hyperpolarization from the resting membrane potential. The response
was very similar to that produced by a hyperpolarizing current injection before the light pulse (Fig. 3b). Recorded neurons exhibited a
nature NEUROSCIENCE VOLUME 15 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2012
WPRE
Emx1-Cre;Ai32
FRT
pPGK
pA AttP
3′ arm
neo
AttL
Emx1-Cre;Ai35
Emx1-Cre;Ai39
variety of responses to hyperpolarizing currents injected under ­current
clamp conditions. Some exhibited hyperpolarization-activated Ih
currents and/or rebound firing of action potentials in response to a
transient application of a hyperpolarizing current, whereas others did
not. In each case, the effect of the input current could be effectively
reproduced by light (Fig. 3b). Upon repeated cycles of light stimulation
(23 mW mm−2), the extent of hyperpolarization diminished to about
two-thirds the initial value, then reached a plateau in E-Ai39 cells
(Fig. 3c). The E-Ai39 cells could recover from such diminished response
to >90% original level after ~5 min rest between the cycles. Unlike E-Ai39
neurons, the responses in E-Ai35 neurons did not diminish with
repeated light stimulation (Fig. 3c).
Both E-Ai35 and E-Ai39 cells showed larger hyperpolarization with
increased light intensities (Fig. 3d). The mean maximal hyperpolarization (measured at 23 mW mm−2) was 26.39 ± 2.67 mV for E-Ai35
(n = 15) and 12.96 ± 1.39 mV for E-Ai39 (n = 14). Under voltage clamp
conditions, light-induced currents corresponded to light intensity and
were highly reproducible from cell to cell (Fig. 3e,f). The photocurrents
795
a
b
E-Ai27
Ai32 (–Cre)
E-Ai32
Pia
L1
L2/3
L4
L5
L6
WM
c
d
E-Ai27
100 pA
100 ms
IUE
Ai32 (–Cre)
E-Ai32
25 mV
25 ms
f
1.0
E-Ai27
0.5
E-Ai32
IUE
0
50 mV
100 ms
120
Number of sites
triggering an AP
e
Fraction of cells
above threshold
Figure 2 Photostimulation of pyramidal neurons
in cortical slices of E-Ai27, E-Ai32 and Ai32
alone (−Cre) mice. (a) A barrel cortex slice with
the 8 × 16 photostimulation grid overlaid (blue
dots; spacing, 50 µm). Scale bar, 200 µm.
L, layer. WM, white matter. (b) Schematic of the
photostimulation geometry and example traces.
Whole-cell voltage-clamp traces from the dashed
box area (left) are shown for E-Ai27 (with 840 µW
light), E-Ai32 (70 µW) and Ai32 (1,490 µW).
Triangles, soma locations. (c) Waveforms of
action potentials (APs) evoked by photoactivating
the somata and dendrites (magenta) and axons
(black). The arrow marks the inflection point.
(d) Whole-cell current-clamp traces showing
evoked APs in the 8 × 16 grid for a typical
cell for each of E-Ai27 (1,700 µW), E-Ai32
(155 µW), Ai32 (1,500 µW) and IUE (155 µW).
(e) Minimum laser power required to evoke an
AP from at least one stimulation site. (f) Number
of photostimulation sites evoking an AP as a
function of laser power in E-Ai32 neurons
(n = 7). (g) Number of stimulation sites
triggering APs using high laser powers. (h) Spike
latencies of somatic or dendritic APs from the
light onset. E-Ai32h, E-Ai32 cells (n = 9 cells,
143 APs) under high powers (≥1 mW). E-Ai32l,
E-Ai32 cells (n = 9 cells, 28 APs) under low
powers (≤100 µW). E-Ai27, E-Ai27 cells (n = 2
cells, 4 APs) under high powers. (i) Number of
stimulation sites triggering APs using low laser
powers. Error bars, s.e.m.
0
101
101
102
103
Stimulation laser power (µW)
102
103
104
Number of trials
Spike latency (ms)
Ai
3
E- 2h
A
E- i32
Ai l
27
h
Number of trials
Stimulation laser power (µW)
attained in E-Ai35 neurons at low and high
g
h
light levels were two to three times those
High power (1.3–1.5 mW)
Low power (0.1–0.3 mW)
14
i
2 IUE
12
observed in E-Ai39 neurons (1.7 mW mm−2:
6 E-Ai27
2
6 E-Ai32
E-Ai32
10
P < 0.05, n = 5 for E-Ai35, n = 7 for E-Ai39;
8
4
4
23 mW mm−2: P < 0.01, n = 8 for E-Ai35,
6
4
2
n = 9 for E-Ai39) (Fig. 3f). Action potentials
2
2
induced under current clamp by constant
0
0
0
0
0
60
120
0
60
120
0
60
120 0
0
60
120
positive current injections were rapidly and
Number of sites triggering an AP
Number of sites triggering an AP
reversibly inhibited by light illumination
(23 mW mm−2) in all trials in both E-Ai35
and E-Ai39 neurons (Fig. 3g). We conclude that Ai35-expressed silencing by two alternative light sources, a 640-nm red laser and a
Arch-ER2 is more efficient at generating photocurrents than Ai39- white LED, that offer several practical advantages. Red lasers are less
expressed eNpHR3.0, but that both transgenically expressed opsins expensive and more easily modulated than the yellow lasers. Though
are effective tools for the silencing of neural activity.
somewhat red-shifted relative to the excitation peaks of Arch and
To ensure that no physiologically significant opsins were expressed NpHR, longer wavelengths are also less prone to attenuation by
from the uninduced reporter loci, we examined light-induced light scattering, so the off-peak excitation may be partly offset by
responses in cortical pyramidal neurons (n = 4) of Ai35 mice, as well better tissue penetration. Red light also offers better spectral separaas cortical (n = 4) and hippocampal CA1 (n = 3) pyramidal neurons of tion from the blue light used to activate ChR2, so it may be better
Ai39 mice, in the absence of any Cre allele. No light-induced changes suited for binary control of activity4,32. LEDs are inexpensive light
were observed in the Ai35 (−Cre) cells at all, either at resting membrane sources and are potentially portable or implantable for experiments
potential (Fig. 3h,i) or when activated by a positive current injection in moving animals.
(Fig. 3j), even with the highest intensity (23 mW mm−2). Similarly,
These alternative light sources efficiently silenced both E-Ai35
for Ai39 (−Cre) cells, light (593 nm, 23 mW mm−2; or 640 nm, and E-Ai39 cortical pyramidal neurons (Fig. 4). Both the LED and
24 mW mm−2) caused no or negligible change in membrane potential the 640-nm red laser produced an intensity-dependent drop in
(−0.02 ± 0.08 mV, n = 7, Fig. 3i). This is consistent with the leaky membrane potential (Fig. 4b,e,g,i) and effectively silenced currentmRNA but absence of leaky protein expression in Ai39 (−Cre) mice induced spiking (Fig. 4c,f,h,j). At similar powers, the 640-nm light
response of E-Ai35 neurons was 43 ± 5% (mean ± s.e.m.) of that
(Supplementary Figs. 1a and 2).
obtained with 593-nm light (Figs. 3d and 4e), and the 640-nm light
Silencing by alternative light sources
response of E-Ai39 neurons was 100 ± 35% of that obtained with
In addition to the yellow light (593 nm) that is near the excitation 593-nm light (Figs. 3d and 4i), consistent with the red-shifted
maximum of the Arch and NpHR proteins4,6,31, we also tested neural spectrum reported for eNpHR3.0 (ref. 23).
E-
npg
© 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
r e so u r c e
796
VOLUME 15 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2012 nature NEUROSCIENCE
r e so u r c e
a
b
c
Normalized ∆mV
Normalized ∆mV
Figure 3 Effective silencing of cortical
E-Ai35
E-Ai39
E-Ai39
E-Ai35
pyramidal neurons by Arch-ER2 in E-Ai35
–1.2
–1.2
Cell
1
20
mV
Cell
1
20
mV
and eNpHR3.0 in E-Ai39 mice. (a) Biocytin
–1.0
–1.0
staining (red) of a cortical pyramidal
–0.8
–0.8
neuron after recording. Scale bar, 100 µm.
593 nm
–0.6
–0.6
–100 pA
(b) Voltage responses of representative
593 nm
–100 pA
0
5
10
0
5
10
neurons to a 1-s negative current injection
Trial
Trial
Cell 2
20 mV
or a 1-s light pulse. Under both conditions,
Cell 2 20 mV
E-Ai35
E-Ai39
cell 2 from E-Ai35 and E-Ai39 exhibits
–30
–30
rebound firing at the end of the stimulus,
–20
–20
whereas cell 1 does not. (c) Voltage response
–10
–10
of a neuron to ten consecutive trials of
0
0
593 nm
laser stimulation (1-s pulse, 1-s interpulse
593 nm
1.7 3.1 6 12 23
1.7 3.1 6 12 23
–100 pA
–20 pA
–2
–2
interval). Values are normalized to the first trial;
mW mm
mW mm
first trial ∆V values were −27.05 ± 2.38 mV
400 E-Ai35
E-Ai35
E-Ai39
E-Ai35
E-Ai39
E-Ai39
(E-Ai35, n = 8) and −19.43 ± 2.82 mV
1s
300
20 mV
0.5 s 200 pA 0.5 s 50 pA
(E-Ai39, n = 10). (d) Average hyperpolarization
2 s 20 mV
200
from the resting membrane potential (mean
100
of ten stimulations, as in c) evoked by
0
different light intensities. (e) Representative
593 nm
1.7 23 1.7 23
593 nm
photocurrent traces under voltage clamp
mW mm–2
593 nm
593 nm
−2
(−70 mV) and 12 mW mm illumination.
–2
Ai35 (–Cre)
E-Ai35
23
mW
mm
Ai35 (–Cre)
30
(f) Mean photocurrents evoked by low and
20 mV
high light intensity. (g) Effective suppression
20
0.5 s 20 mV
of action potential firing in E-Ai35 or E-Ai39
10
neurons evoked by positive current injection
+100 pA
–63 mV
–68 mV
0
(50–100 pA). (h) Voltage responses of Ai35
2s
593 nm
(−Cre) and E-Ai35 neurons under maximal
593
nm
593
nm
light illumination (23 mW mm−2). (i) Comparison
of light-induced hyperpolarization in
Cre-positive (E-Ai35, n = 15; E-Ai39, n = 14) and Cre-negative (Ai35, n = 4; Ai39, n = 7) neurons. (j) Maximum light (23 mW mm −2) failed to
slow or silence the firing of a Cre-negative Ai35 neuron evoked by positive current injection (100 pA). Error bars, s.e.m.
∆mV
∆mV
d
f
g
pA
e
j
Light inhibition of hippocampal network activity
To test the effectiveness of E-Ai35 mice as a model for inhibiting
neural network activity, we tested light-mediated silencing of a well
described monosynaptic pathway from area CA3 to area CA1 of the
hippocampus (Fig. 5a)33. In this model, we induced firing of hippo­
campal neurons in brain slice preparations by elevated K+ and recorded
population activity from CA1 (Fig. 5b). Focused illumination of the
CA3 region produced an immediate drop in CA1 activity (Fig. 5c).
With sustained illumination, CA3 firing increased, but it remained
below baseline level. Partial release from silencing may occur over time
because of compensatory effects in the network and/or because only a
)
re
C
(–
)
39
re
Ai
E-
39
Ai
C
(–
Ai
35
E-
Ai
35
∆mV
i
portion of the CA3 neurons with outputs to CA1 are inhibited by the
focal illumination. After the light was turned off, firing rates returned
quickly to baseline, and there was no rebound of spiking activity.
Dual recording from CA1 and CA3, combined with focal illumination of CA1, confirmed that these results were consistent with
the silencing of a unidirectional synaptic input from CA3 to CA1
(Fig. 5d,e). First, illumination of CA1 had no effect on population
activity in CA3. By contrast, direct illumination of CA1 caused immediate and nearly complete silencing of this region, and we observed
a large rebound increase in firing on recovery from direct illumination of CA1. In addition, the extent of CA1 inhibition depended on
Figure 4 Alternative light sources for silencing
of cortical pyramidal neurons in E-Ai35 and
20 mV
E-Ai35
20 mV
E-Ai39 mice. (a–c) Inhibition of E-Ai35 neurons
640 nm
20 mV
LED
20 mV
–15
–15
by a white LED. (a) An example E-Ai35 neuron
–10
–10
exhibited similar hyperpolarization responses
–100 pA
2s
–5
–5
–100 pA
to negative current injection (−100 pA) and
2s
0
0
illumination by white light. (b) White light
3 6 11
640 nm
5 10 25
640 nm
dose-response curve (n = 3). (c) An example of
–2
LED
mW mm–2
mW mm
LED
effective silencing by white light (11 mW mm −2)
of action potentials evoked by a positive current
E-Ai39 LED
20 mV
20 mV
injection (100 pA). (d–f) Inhibition of E-Ai35
640 nm
–15
–15
neurons by red laser light (640 nm).
(d) An example E-Ai35 neuron exhibited similar
–10
–10
hyperpolarization responses to negative current
–5
–5
2s
2s
injection (−100 pA) and illumination by red
0
0
3 6 11
5 10 25
light. (e) Red light dose-response curve
640
nm
–2
mW mm
mW mm–2
LED
(n = 7). (f) An example of silencing of currentevoked action potentials by red laser light.
(g,h) Inhibition of E-Ai39 neurons by a white LED. (g) White light dose-response curve (n = 5). (h) An example of silencing of current-evoked action
potentials by white light. (i,j) Inhibition of E-Ai39 neurons by red laser light (640 nm). (i) Red light dose-response curve (n = 7). (j) An example of
silencing of current-evoked action potentials by red laser light. Error bars, s.e.m.
b
c
d
e
h
nature NEUROSCIENCE VOLUME 15 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2012
i
j
∆mV
g
f
∆mV
∆mV
a
∆mV
npg
© 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
h
797
r e so u r c e
ov
4
er
y
l
0
tro
ec
R
C
ec
on
Burst amplitude
(normalized to control)
y
4
er
ov
l
0
tro
on
C
R
R
LED
CA3
e
LED on
∫ CA3
CA3
∫ CA1
CA1
1 min
1
∫
CA3
CA3
∫
CA1
CA1
1
2
2
3
3
40 µV
npg
CA1
R1
40 µV
798
**
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
40 µV
In vivo activation and silencing of cortical neurons
To evaluate the effectiveness of light modulation in vivo in these transgenic mouse lines, we performed extracellular recordings in awake,
head-fixed adult mice. On the basis of a Monte Carlo simulation of
light attenuation in brain tissues6, we estimated light intensity at the
electrode recording site to be 1–5% of that at the optical fiber tip,
which was 500–900 µm above the recording site.
In E-Ai32 mice, we recorded a total of 16 units, including 7 single
units and 9 multiple units. Of the 7 single units, firing rates increased
in 6 units (Fig. 6a) and decreased in 1 unit, upon blue light (473 nm)
illumination (0.8 mW from a 100-µm optical fiber, corresponding to
~100 mW mm−2 at the fiber tip and ~2 mW mm−2 at the recording
sites). The light induced spiking was fast, reliable and precise after
each pulse illumination (Supplementary Fig. 7). Precise activation was
observed even when the fiber tip was 1.5–2.0 mm from the recording
site, where light intensity is expected to drop to ~0.17% of that at the
tip. Of the nine multiple units, firing rates increased in eight units
and decreased in one unit. Light illumination and recording in an
Ai32 (−Cre) mouse served as a negative control. Of the three cortical
neurons recorded, none were modulated by light at the highest power.
In E-Ai27 mice, we recorded a total of 11 units, including 4 single units
and 7 multiple units. Of the 4 single units, firing rates significantly
increased in only 1 unit and decreased in the other 3, with the same
blue light illumination (2.2 mW, ~280 mW mm−2 at the 100-µm fiber
tip and ~5 mW mm−2 at the recording sites). However, all 7 multiple
units increased their firing rates. Overall, the single and multiple units
with increased firing rates showed enhancements of 350–1,400% from
the baseline for E-Ai32 (768 ± 94%, n = 14) and 150–350% for E-Ai27
(198 ± 25%, n = 8) (Fig. 6b). The magnitude of light-induced activation
in E-Ai32 was significantly higher than that in E-Ai27, consistent with
that observed in vitro (Fig. 2).
**
d
40 µV
the area of illumination on CA3, under conditions of constant light
intensity per unit area (Supplementary Fig. 6). We conclude that
illumination of CA3 results in the selective inhibition of synaptic
inputs to CA1, thus demonstrating the potential of Ai35 (and Ai39)
mice for optogenetic studies of brain circuitry.
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
40 µV
© 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
b
c
Burst frequency
(normalized to control)
a
R
Figure 5 Effective silencing of induced
CA1
population bursting in the hippocampal circuit
in E-Ai35 mice. (a) Schematic for the inhibition
CA3
of presynaptic neurons in the hippocampal circuit.
LED
We used an extracellular electrode (R) to record
LED on
population bursting in CA1 induced by 8 mM K+.
A white light source (LED, yellow circle) was
positioned over CA3 to activate Arch-ER2 in
presynaptic neurons. (b) Representative traces of
the integrated (top) and raw (bottom) population
∫ CA1
bursting activity from CA1 before (expanded traces
CA1
in inset 1), during (2) and after (3) the illumination
1 min
1
2
3
of CA3. Raw population bursting activity is the direct
1
2
3
measure of unit activity. Integrated population
activity represents the change of unit activity
2s
(time constant = 200 ms). (c) Quantified response of
population bursting from CA1 (n = 4 experiments) during four intervals: light-off control, the first (0)
and final (4) minute of a 5-min exposure to white light, and 5 min after light exposure (recovery).
Values were normalized to light-off control. **P < 0.01, repeated measures ANOVA; mean ± s.e.m.
(d) Schematic for the inhibition of postsynaptic neurons in the hippocampal circuit. We recorded
neurons simultaneously using dual extracellular electrodes (CA1, R; CA3, R1). A white LED was
positioned over CA1 to activate Arch-ER2 in postsynaptic neurons. (e) Representative traces of the
integrated (top) and raw (bottom) population bursting activity from CA3 and CA1 before (inset 1),
during (2) and after (3) illumination of CA1. Light to CA1 led to suppressed bursting from that region,
whereas bursting activity in CA3 was unaffected.
2s
To evaluate the efficiency of optical silencing in vivo mediated
by eNpHR3.0 and Arch-ER2 (Fig. 6c,d), we used E-Ai35, Camk2aCreERT2;Ai35 and Camk2a-CreERT2;Ai39 mice. After tamoxifen
induction, Camk2a-CreERT2 drives eNpHR3.0 or Arch-ER2 expression in most cortical pyramidal neurons similarly to Emx1-Cre
(Supplementary Fig. 1)9. In an E-Ai35 mouse, we recorded a total
of ten single units in cell-attached mode with glass electrodes. All
single units significantly reduced their firing rates upon green light
illumination (532 nm, 16 mW, ~470 mW mm−2 at the 200-µm fiber
tip and ~13 mW mm−2 at the recording sites) (Fig. 6c). The recorded
neurons showed a reduction of 83–100% from the baseline firing rates
(93 ± 2%, n = 10) (Fig. 6e, left). Light-induced silencing was instantaneous, with 0 ms latency for nine of the ten neurons recorded. The
population latency was 1 ± 1 ms from light onset (Fig. 6e, right). We
observed similar results of complete silencing of single-unit activities
in a tamoxifen-induced Camk2a-ERT2;Ai35 mouse (93 ± 7% silencing
at ~10 mW mm−2 at the recording sites, n = 2). Light illumination and
recording in an Ai35 (−Cre) mouse served as a negative control. Of the
eight cortical neurons recorded, none were modulated by light at the
highest power used (~16 mW mm−2 at the recording sites).
In a tamoxifen-induced Camk2a-CreERT2;Ai39 mouse, we
recorded a total of 13 single units. Of these, 7 significantly reduced
their firing rates (Fig. 6d), 3 did not change and 3 increased their firing
rates upon green light illumination (11 mW, ~1,400 mW mm−2 at the
100-µm fiber tip and ~30 mW mm−2 at the recording sites). The single
units with reduced firing rates showed a reduction of 83–97% from
the baseline (90 ± 2%, n = 7), with 0–20 ms latency from light onset
(8.6 ± 4.0 ms) (Fig. 6e). The magnitude of silencing in Ai39 mice with
30 mW mm−2 light was comparable to that observed in Ai35 mice
with 10 mW mm−2 light (P = 0.4), but the latency of silencing in Ai39
mice was significantly longer than that in Ai35 mice (P < 0.05). The
observed incomplete inhibition could result from the neurons that
did not express Camk2a-CreERT2 and thus were disinhibited or activated through neural network mechanisms, consistent with previous
observations using a viral labeling method in vivo24.
We then compared the responses of the same single units to
different light intensities. These single units in both E-Ai35 and
VOLUME 15 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2012 nature NEUROSCIENCE
E-Ai32
b
Percentage increase during
light illumination
10 trials
100 µV
0.5 ms
Spike rate (Hz)
60
40
20
0
–200
c
0
200
400
600
800
***
800
600
400
200
0
E-Ai27 E-Ai32
1,000
Time (ms)
E-Ai35
Spike rate (Hz)
10 trials
800 µV
0.5 ms
d
20
10
0
–5,000
0
5,000
10,000
Time (ms)
C-Ai39
200 µV
0.5 ms
10 trials
10
–5,000
0
5,000
Time (ms)
15
100
5
2
E-Ai35
100
**
C-Ai39
*
80
60
40
20
0
5
13
10
30
(mW mm–2)
30
2
W C-A
m i3
m–9
10,000
m
W E-A
m i3
m–5
m
13
2
m
30
m
13
nature NEUROSCIENCE VOLUME 15 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2012
*
10
0
W C-A
m i3
m–9
W E-A
m i3
m–5
80
In vivo activation of Pvalb+ interneurons
To examine photoexcitability in an inhibitory
60
neuronal type, we performed extracellular
40
recordings in awake, behaving Pvalb-IRES20
Cre;Ai32 mice using a custom-designed
0
optoelectronic probe34 containing optical fibers 5–20 µm in diameter that deliver
locally focused light (~1 mW at the tip). For
an independent assessment of the specificity
of Pvalb+ neuron activation in these mice, we
chose the hippocampal CA1 region and the thalamus because in these
areas interneurons and principal cells can be reliably separated by
physiological means35–37. In the hippocampus, the neuron with the
typical autocorrelogram (ACG) of fast-firing perisomatic interneurons38 was directly activated by both single pulses and a sinusoidal
pattern (Fig. 7a). In contrast, the bursting, putative pyramidal cell was
silenced at the time of the firing epoch of the activated neuron. Using
previously established waveform criteria—trough-to-peak time and
the width of the spike of the wide-band (1 Hz–5 kHz) unit at 20% of
its peak amplitude35,39—we were able to segregate all recorded neurons into two main groups (Fig. 7b and Supplementary Fig. 8). All
light activated neurons fell in the ‘narrow-spike’ category. In another
comparison, we identified neurons as excitatory or inhibitory neurons
on the basis of putative monosynaptic excitation and inhibition estimated by their short-time cross-correlograms35,39,40. Again, the two
groups segregated and all activated neurons fell in the physiologically
f
Percentage inhibition during
light illumination
0
Latency from
light onset (ms)
e
20
2
Camk2a-CreERT2;Ai39 mice showed less
inhibition at lower light intensities (Fig. 6f).
In Ai35, firing rates were reduced by
49 ± 10% at 5 mW mm−2 and by 93 ± 2% at
13 mW mm−2 (n = 10, P = 0.001). In Ai39,
firing rates were reduced by 62 ± 9% at
10 mW mm−2 and by 90 ± 2% at 30 mW mm−2
(n = 7, P = 0.02).
a
Spike rate (Hz)
Figure 6 Optical activation or silencing of
pyramidal neuron activities in the neocortex of
awake E-Ai27, E-Ai32, E-Ai35 and Camk2aCreERT2;Ai39 (C-Ai39) mice. (a) Neural activity
and spike waveforms in a representative E-Ai32
neuron before, during and after 200-ms blue
light illumination (3 mW mm−2). Top, spike
raster plot; bottom, histogram of instantaneous
firing rate averaged across trials (bin size, 5 ms).
(b) Average changes in firing rates upon
blue light illumination in E-Ai27 and E-Ai32
mice. ***P < 0.001. (c) Neural activity and
spike waveforms in a representative E-Ai35
neuron before, during and after 5-s green light
illumination (13 mW mm−2). (d) Neural activity
and spike waveforms in a representative C-Ai39
neuron before, during and after 5-s green light
illumination (30 mW mm−2). In c,d, top, spike
raster plot; bottom, histogram of instantaneous
firing rate averaged across trials (bin size,
10 ms). (e) Average changes in firing rates (left)
and latencies (right) observed in E-Ai35 and
C-Ai39 single units during green light
illumination at indicated light intensities.
*P < 0.05. (f) Green light illumination at higher
intensity induced more powerful silencing in
E-Ai35 and C-Ai39 mice. *P < 0.05,
**P < 0.01. All data are mean ± s.e.m.
Percentage inhibition during
light illumination
npg
© 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
r e so u r c e
identified interneuron cluster (Fig. 7b and Supplementary Fig. 8).
These results show that ChR2-mediated activation was absent in CA1
pyramidal cells and present in fast firing interneurons corresponding
to the perisomatic Pvalb+ interneurons.
In the thalamus, the characteristic low-threshold spike burst patterns of thalamocortical neurons can be reliably separated from those
of the fast-firing inhibitory interneurons of the reticular nucleus 37.
In the mouse reticular nucleus, most interneurons are Pvalb immuno­
reactive41. Simultaneous recordings from reticular and the adjacent
thalamocortical neurons and their local optogenetic activation
generated two separate groups. Neurons that were activated by either
single pulses or a sinusoidal pattern had ACGs ­ characteristic of
reticular neurons, whereas bursty neurons were suppressed by light
stimulation (Fig. 7c and Supplementary Fig. 9). Light-­activated
and light-suppressed neurons had clearly different burst index magni­
tudes (Fig. 7d). These findings further support the specificity of
799
r e so u r c e
c
0.2
0
0.5
1.0
1.5
Trough-to-peak time
(2) (ms)
Number of cells
2π
–4
0
–2
0
0
20
40
π
20
40
–2
12
Cell 2-23
4
0
Time (ms)
Time
2π
–4
0
–2
0
0
20
40
0
π
–2
60
40
0
20
10
5
0
8
8
0
0
–4
–20
0
0
20
40
Time (ms)
0
0
60
0
0
0
0.4
0
15
Not activated neurons
Light activated neurons
15
0
1
2
3
Burstiness (log)
>4
0.1 mV
0.5 ms
Time (ms)
e
1.0
Putative excitatory
Ipsilateral
Cell 47
0.6
15
–2
2
0.8
2π
π
0
Light activated
80%
0.1 mV
0.5 ms
30
0.8
0.6
Cell 47
0.4
0.2
0
Cell 45
Putative inhibitory
0
0.5
1.0
1.5
Trough-to-peak time
(2) (ms)
Contralateral
1
Time
Width at 20% depth (1) (ms)
Width at 20% depth (1) (ms)
20%
–2
50
0
0
0
1.0
Cell 4-16
–2
0
16
0
0
20
40
2
b
© 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
–2
4
Time (ms)
npg
–2
0
0
Cell 45
10
–5
Firing rate (Hz)
20
0
0
π
0
50
100
Firing rate (Hz)
200
Cell 47
100
2π
200
d
ACG
30
Firing rate (Hz)
ACG
–5
Firing rate (Hz)
a
1 mV
100 ms
1 mV
1s
Figure 7 In vivo identification of light-activated neurons in the hippocampus and thalamus of Pvalb-IRES-Cre;Ai32 mice. (a) Excitation of ChR2expressing neurons in the hippocampal CA1 region during the waking state. Top row of graphs shows peristimulus histogram of a Pvalb+ neuron (cell 47)
transiently activated by single pulses or 8-Hz, 1-mW sinusoidal light stimulation (top traces). Also shown are the autocorrelogram (ACG) and waveform
(± s.e.m.) of the neuron (far right). Note typical ACG for a fast-firing putative basket cell 35. Bottom row shows the same arrangement for a nearby
pyramidal cell (cell 45). Note ACG typical of bursting neurons. (b) Optogenetic (left) and physiological (right) classifications of neuron types in the
hippocampus. Physiological segregation of simultaneously recorded neurons is based on two parameters: (1) spike width and (2) trough-to-peak time
(inset). (c) Activation of ChR2-expressing neurons in the thalamus during anesthesia. Top: a reticular nucleus Pvalb+ neuron (cell 4-16) in response to
single pulses or 10-Hz sinusoidal light stimulation. Bottom: a simultaneously recorded thalamocortical neuron (cell 2-23) with typical bursting pattern
in ACG36,37. (d) Distribution of burst index in the activated (putative reticular, red) and suppressed (putative thalamocortical, blue) neurons. Burst index
is the ratio of spikes with short (<6 ms) inter-spike intervals relative to other spikes in the same session. (e) Light-evoked cortical patterns in response
to reticular nucleus stimulation in the waking Pvalb-IRES-Cre;Ai32 mice. Single-pulse (left) and sinusoidal pattern (10 Hz, right) evoked activities are
epidural recordings from the ipsilateral and contralateral parietal areas.
ChR2-mediated activation in reticular Pvalb+ interneurons. Although
these physiological methods cannot distinguish between Pvalb+ and
other classes of interneurons42, the physiological results are consistent with the previously demonstrated recombination specificity
of Pvalb-IRES-Cre to Pvalb+ interneurons in both hippocampus
and thalamus9.
As reticular inhibitory neurons are critical for pacing thalamocortical rhythm37, we examined the effect of their light activation
on neocortical activity of waking mice. Single pulse stimulation
(5 ms, 20 mW) evoked a primary response, likely through rebound
spike activation of thalamocortical neurons36,37, followed by several
cycles of activity typical of thalamocortical reverberation (Fig. 7e,
left). Repetitive activation of reticular neurons at 10 Hz effectively
entrained the thalamocortical circuit36 (Fig. 7e, right). These findings demonstrate that reticular neurons can be recruited effectively by
local light stimulation in Pvalb-IRES-Cre;Ai32 mice to induce physio­
logically relevant cortical patterns.
DISCUSSION
We have established four new transgenic mouse lines with robust Credependent expression of ChR2, Arch-ER2 or eNpHR3.0. Compared to
a previously published R26øChR2-EGFP Cre-reporter mouse line20,
our Ai32 ChR2-EYFP–expressing line has substantially greater light
sensitivity. In the R26øChR2-EGFP mice, using very similar stimulation protocols in cortical slices, very long and strong laser pulses
(~20 ms, ~2 mW) are needed to induce single spiking in inter­neurons,
and even so spiking cannot be induced in pyramidal neurons. The
mice also reportedly need a homozygous floxed ChR2 allele and
800
dietary retinol. In contrast, the Ai32 mice possessed excitability with
1-ms light pulses at intensities as low as 30 µW, much larger photocurrents and much shorter latency to spiking, in pyramidal neurons.
We further showed that pyramidal neurons and interneurons were
readily excitable in vivo with low light in heterozygous mice. These
improved properties are likely to prove critical in future in vitro and
in vivo studies. Using such an efficient transgenic expression strategy
is particularly essential for expressing the silencing opsins (Arch and
eNpHR) to functional levels.
The transgenic targeting strategy used in the R26øChR2-EGFP
line20 is similar to our strategy described here. Both targeted the
Rosa26 locus and used a strong and ubiquitous CAG promoter. But
two main differences may be responsible for the improved expression in the new lines reported here. First, our expression cassettes
included a WPRE sequence, which have previously been shown to
enhance protein expression of Rosa26-targeted transgenes9. Second,
while the R26øChR2-EGFP line incorporated a commonly used
floxed-stop cassette that contains the bacterial neomycin resistance
(neo) gene in front of the stop, we intentionally excluded the neo
gene from our own floxed-stop cassette and instead placed it separately downstream from the transgene expression cassette. Although
it is unclear whether the relocation of the neo gene is helpful to the
improved expression in our mice, it is well known that integration of
bacterial sequences into mammalian genomes can cause epigenetic
modifications that affect expression of nearby genes.
Each of our optogenetic lines exhibited distinct photo-response
properties that could be useful for different applications. Neurons
from Ai32 lines appeared significantly more photosensitive than those
VOLUME 15 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2012 nature NEUROSCIENCE
npg
© 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
r e so u r c e
from Ai27, both in vitro and in vivo. Although the basis for this difference between Ai27 and Ai32 neurons is unresolved, and we saw
no apparent difference in expression level or membrane localization,
we speculate that the bulkier tdTomato fluorescent tag in the Ai27
transgene may interfere with some channel properties. Although
Ai32’s photosensitivity seems desirable for most experiments, Ai27’s
red label and/or preferential axonal excitation may be advantageous
in some applications28,30. Our in vitro and in vivo data on Ai35 and
Ai39 neurons suggest that Arch-ER2 produces greater photocurrents
and larger hyperpolarization than eNpHR3.0 under both green and
yellow light. This could be due to the observed lower protein level
for eNpHR3.0, even though the mice were generated using identical designs. However, owing to its broad and red-shifted activation
spectrum, eNpHR3.0 is equally effective as Arch-ER2 under red light,
and it may be preferable for dual-channel work together with blue
light-responsive depolarizing opsins.
The kinetics of the in vivo light response of ChR2-expressing neurons in Ai27 and Ai32 mice were identical to those observed with
virally expressed opsins, with a rapid increase in spiking at light onset,
followed by stable, lower steady-state firing during light stimulation
and often a period of suppression immediately after light termination32. Photoinhibition of Arch-ER2- or eNpHR3.0-expressing
neurons in Ai35 or Ai39 mice in vivo yielded a near instantaneous
reduction in firing rate, consistent with that observed with the viral
infection method6. Many of the neurons recorded in Ai35 and Ai39
mice were nearly completely silenced. The homogenous and complete
silencing in these mice represents an advantage over viral infection6,24
of the consistent expression achieved in these transgenic mice.
An important question is the specificity of neuronal activity manipulation in the targeted populations. Although this can be addressed
by exhaustive anatomical multiple labeling methods, physiological
verification of specificity is also useful. We chose two brain areas, the
CA1 pyramidal layer and the thalamus, because identification of principal cells and interneurons in these regions is possible by physiological means35–40. Although these methods cannot distinguish among
the large family of interneurons38, light-activated neurons displayed
well known features of short-duration spikes and high firing rates
typical of perisomatic Pvalb+ interneurons. Conversely, putative CA1
pyramidal neurons and thalamocortical cells with bursting properties and excitatory connections were never directly activated by light.
Instead, most of them were suppressed by light stimulation. These
excellent physiological-optogenetic correlations in the intact brain
support the cell type specificity of ChR2 activation. They also suggest
that optogenetic activation of genetically labeled cell types, especially
those difficult to distinguish by physiological or other means, will
enable more refined in vivo identification and characterization of
their functional properties43.
Systematic expression characterization data from our previously
generated fluorescent reporter lines (for example, Ai14), crossed to
dozens of different Cre-driver lines, have shown that Cre-dependent
activation of transgene expression can be obtained in nearly all neuronal types9. Thus, although data presented here are confined to the
light responses of cortical and hippocampal pyramidal neurons and
hippocampal and thalamic Pvalb+ interneurons, we believe it highly
likely that these optogenetic tools will effectively modulate activity
in a wide range of neurons. It should be noted that different types of
neurons may have different excitability properties for both intrinsic
and/or local circuitry reasons and hence may require individual optimization of the conditions for activation and silencing.
Here we not only provide a new set of transgenic tools with superior properties for both stimulating and silencing neuronal activity,
nature NEUROSCIENCE VOLUME 15 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2012
we also demonstrate a transgenic expression strategy having several conceptual advantages. First, because the opsins are expressed
as single copies in an identical manner from a consistent genomic
environment, reliable comparisons of in vivo performance can be
made between different opsin genes and different transgenic lines.
Second, the Cre-dependent on-off switch for transgene expression
effectively prevents or minimizes leaky expression in nontargeted
cells while enabling strong expression from the well characterized
CAG promoter in targeted cells, an advantage over the specific
promoter–driven single transgenic approach, in which the promoters
used could have variable (sometimes unknown or uncharacterized)
expression in both targeted and nontargeted cells. Third, because of
the efforts we and others have taken to systematically characterize
expression in Cre-driver lines8,9, especially when similar reporter
lines are used, documented and publicly available information about
Cre recombination patterns (for example, http://connectivity.brainmap.org/transgenic/search/basic/) can advise researchers about the
cell type specificity of expression expected when using a particular
Cre driver with these reporter lines. This is of great importance also
considering the potential for unintended ectopic Cre expression to
varied degrees in some Cre lines and the need for informed choice
about appropriate Cre (or inducible Cre) lines for specific cell types.
Finally, this proven expression system will also facilitate the rapid
incorporation of newly engineered optogenetic variants and, once
validated, apply them to all the Cre lines. This presents a more ‘onefor-all’ opportunity than expressing one opsin in one cell type at a
time, and it will further increase the range of optogenetic capabilities
for investigating neural circuits and brain function.
Methods
Methods and any associated references are available in the online
version of the paper at http://www.nature.com/natureneuroscience/.
Accession codes, requests for materials and open data access. The
four Cre-reporter mouse lines have been deposited with the Jackson
Laboratory for distribution with stock numbers 012567 (Ai27), 012569
(Ai32), 012735 (Ai35) and 014539 (Ai39). The four gene-targeting
DNA constructs (Ai27, Ai32, Ai35 and Ai39) have been deposited
to Addgene for distribution. All ISH expression data are available at
http://connectivity.brain-map.org/transgenic/search/basic.
Note: Supplementary information is available on the Nature Neuroscience website.
Acknowledgments
We are grateful for the technical support of the Atlas Production Team, led by
P. Wohnoutka, and the Technology Team, led by C. Dang, at the Allen Institute.
We thank A. Nagy (Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto) for providing the G4 ES cell
line and K. Deisseroth (Stanford University) for providing the eNpHR3.0 construct.
The authors wish to thank the Allen Institute founders, P.G. Allen and J. Allen, for
their vision, encouragement and support. This work was funded by the Allen Institute
for Brain Science and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, US National Institutes
of Health (NIH) grant DA028298 to H.Z., NIH grants MH90478 and MH093667 to
E.E.T., NIH grant MH085944 and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant to X.H., NIH
grants NS034994 and MH54671 and a US National Science Foundation grant to G.B.,
and a Marie Curie Fellowship (EU FP7 PEOPLE 2009 IOF 254780) to A.B.
AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS
L.M., J.K. and H.G. generated the Cre reporter mouse lines. T.M., B.M.H. and K.S.
conducted the slice physiology study on Ai27 and Ai32 mice. H.K., Y.-W.A.H.,
A.J.G., S.Z., J.M.R. and E.E.T. conducted the slice physiology study on Ai35 and
Ai39 mice. J.Z., X.G., Y.M. and X.H. conducted the in vivo cortical recordings.
A.B., S.F. and G.B. conducted the in vivo hippocampal and thalamic recordings.
A.R.J. provided institutional support. E.S.B. provided the Arch-ER2 construct.
L.M., T.M., H.K., J.Z., A.B., S.F., E.S.B., G.B., X.H., E.E.T. and H.Z. analyzed data
and wrote the paper.
801
r e so u r c e
COMPETING FINANCIAL INTERESTS
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
npg
© 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
Published online at http://www.nature.com/natureneuroscience/.
Reprints and permissions information is available online at http://www.nature.com/
reprints/index.html.
1. Boyden, E.S., Zhang, F., Bamberg, E., Nagel, G. & Deisseroth, K. Millisecondtimescale, genetically targeted optical control of neural activity. Nat. Neurosci. 8,
1263–1268 (2005).
2. Li, X. et al. Fast noninvasive activation and inhibition of neural and network activity
by vertebrate rhodopsin and green algae channelrhodopsin. Proc. Natl. Acad.
Sci. USA 102, 17816–17821 (2005).
3. Nagel, G. et al. Channelrhodopsin-2, a directly light-gated cation-selective membrane
channel. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100, 13940–13945 (2003).
4. Han, X. & Boyden, E.S. Multiple-color optical activation, silencing, and
desynchronization of neural activity, with single-spike temporal resolution.
PLoS ONE 2, e299 (2007).
5. Zhang, F., Aravanis, A.M., Adamantidis, A., de Lecea, L. & Deisseroth, K. Circuitbreakers: optical technologies for probing neural signals and systems. Nat. Rev.
Neurosci. 8, 577–581 (2007).
6. Chow, B.Y. et al. High-performance genetically targetable optical neural silencing
by light-driven proton pumps. Nature 463, 98–102 (2010).
7. Hegemann, P. & Moglich, A. Channelrhodopsin engineering and exploration of new
optogenetic tools. Nat. Methods 8, 39–42 (2011).
8. Gong, S. et al. Targeting Cre recombinase to specific neuron populations
with bacterial artificial chromosome constructs. J. Neurosci. 27, 9817–9823
(2007).
9. Madisen, L. et al. A robust and high-throughput Cre reporting and characterization
system for the whole mouse brain. Nat. Neurosci. 13, 133–140 (2010).
10.Taniguchi, H. et al. A resource of Cre driver lines for genetic targeting of GABAergic
neurons in cerebral cortex. Neuron 71, 995–1013 (2011).
11.Atasoy, D., Aponte, Y., Su, H.H. & Sternson, S.M.A. FLEX switch targets
Channelrhodopsin-2 to multiple cell types for imaging and long-range circuit
mapping. J. Neurosci. 28, 7025–7030 (2008).
12.Kuhlman, S.J. & Huang, Z.J. High-resolution labeling and functional manipulation
of specific neuron types in mouse brain by Cre-activated viral gene expression.
PLoS ONE 3, e2005 (2008).
13.Arenkiel, B.R. et al. In vivo light-induced activation of neural circuitry in transgenic
mice expressing channelrhodopsin-2. Neuron 54, 205–218 (2007).
14.Wang, H. et al. High-speed mapping of synaptic connectivity using photostimulation
in Channelrhodopsin-2 transgenic mice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104,
8143–8148 (2007).
15.Hägglund, M., Borgius, L., Dougherty, K.J. & Kiehn, O. Activation of groups of
excitatory neurons in the mammalian spinal cord or hindbrain evokes locomotion.
Nat. Neurosci. 13, 246–252 (2010).
16.Chuhma, N., Tanaka, K.F., Hen, R. & Rayport, S. Functional connectome of the
striatal medium spiny neuron. J. Neurosci. 31, 1183–1192 (2011).
17.Ren, J. et al. Habenula “cholinergic” neurons co-release glutamate and acetylcholine
and activate postsynaptic neurons via distinct transmission modes. Neuron 69,
445–452 (2011).
18.Tsunematsu, T. et al. Acute optogenetic silencing of orexin/hypocretin
neurons induces slow-wave sleep in mice. J. Neurosci. 31, 10529–10539
(2011).
19.Zhao, S. et al. Cell type–specific channelrhodopsin-2 transgenic mice for optogenetic
dissection of neural circuitry function. Nat. Methods 8, 745–752 (2011).
802
20.Kätzel, D., Zemelman, B.V., Buetfering, C., Wolfel, M. & Miesenbock, G.
The columnar and laminar organization of inhibitory connections to neocortical
excitatory cells. Nat. Neurosci. 14, 100–107 (2011).
21.Zhao, S. et al. Improved expression of halorhodopsin for light-induced silencing of
neuronal activity. Brain Cell Biol. 36, 141–154 (2008).
22.Gradinaru, V., Thompson, K.R. & Deisseroth, K. eNpHR: a Natronomonas halorhodopsin
enhanced for optogenetic applications. Brain Cell Biol. 36, 129–139 (2008).
23.Gradinaru, V. et al. Molecular and cellular approaches for diversifying and extending
optogenetics. Cell 141, 154–165 (2010).
24.Han, X. et al. A high-light sensitivity optical neural silencer: development and
application to optogenetic control of non-human primate cortex. Front. Syst.
Neurosci. 5, 18 (2011).
25.Nagel, G. et al. Light activation of channelrhodopsin-2 in excitable cells of
Caenorhabditis elegans triggers rapid behavioral responses. Curr. Biol. 15,
2279–2284 (2005).
26.Petreanu, L., Huber, D., Sobczyk, A. & Svoboda, K. Channelrhodopsin-2-assisted circuit
mapping of long-range callosal projections. Nat. Neurosci. 10, 663–668 (2007).
27.Petreanu, L., Mao, T., Sternson, S.M. & Svoboda, K. The subcellular organization
of neocortical excitatory connections. Nature 457, 1142–1145 (2009).
28.Lewis, T.L. Jr., Mao, T. & Arnold, D.B. A role for myosin VI in the localization of
axonal proteins. PLoS Biol. 9, e1001021 (2011).
29.Peron, S. & Svoboda, K. From cudgel to scalpel: toward precise neural control with
optogenetics. Nat. Methods 8, 30–34 (2011).
30.Lewis, T.L. Jr., Mao, T., Svoboda, K. & Arnold, D.B. Myosin-dependent targeting of
transmembrane proteins to neuronal dendrites. Nat. Neurosci. 12, 568–576 (2009).
31.Zhang, F. et al. Multimodal fast optical interrogation of neural circuitry. Nature 446,
633–639 (2007).
32.Han, X. et al. Millisecond-timescale optical control of neural dynamics in the
nonhuman primate brain. Neuron 62, 191–198 (2009).
33.Ishizuka, N., Weber, J. & Amaral, D.G. Organization of intrahippocampal projections
originating from CA3 pyramidal cells in the rat. J. Comp. Neurol. 295, 580–623
(1990).
34.Royer, S. et al. Multi-array silicon probes with integrated optical fibers: light-assisted
perturbation and recording of local neural circuits in the behaving animal. Eur. J.
Neurosci. 31, 2279–2291 (2010).
35.Csicsvari, J., Hirase, H., Czurkó, A., Mamiya, A. & Buzsáki, G. Oscillatory coupling
of hippocampal pyramidal cells and interneurons in the behaving rat. J. Neurosci.
19, 274–287 (1999).
36.Halassa, M.M. et al. Selective optical drive of thalamic reticular nucleus generates
thalamic bursts and cortical spindles. Nat. Neurosci. 14, 1118–1120 (2011).
37.Steriade, M., McCormick, D.A. & Sejnowski, T.J. Thalamocortical oscillations in the
sleeping and aroused brain. Science 262, 679–685 (1993).
38.Klausberger, T. et al. Brain-state- and cell-type-specific firing of hippocampal
interneurons in vivo. Nature 421, 844–848 (2003).
39.Sirota, A. et al. Entrainment of neocortical neurons and gamma oscillations by the
hippocampal theta rhythm. Neuron 60, 683–697 (2008).
40.Fujisawa, S., Amarasingham, A., Harrison, M.T. & Buzsaki, G. Behavior-dependent
short-term assembly dynamics in the medial prefrontal cortex. Nat. Neurosci. 11,
823–833 (2008).
41.Liu, X.B., Murray, K.D. & Jones, E.G. Low-threshold calcium channel subunit
Cav 3.3 is specifically localized in GABAergic neurons of rodent thalamus and
cerebral cortex. J. Comp. Neurol. 519, 1181–1195 (2011).
42.Tanahira, C. et al. Parvalbumin neurons in the forebrain as revealed by parvalbuminCre transgenic mice. Neurosci. Res. 63, 213–223 (2009).
43.Lima, S.Q., Hromadka, T., Znamenskiy, P. & Zador, A.M. PINP: a new method of
tagging neuronal populations for identification during in vivo electrophysiological
recording. PLoS ONE 4, e6099 (2009).
VOLUME 15 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2012 nature NEUROSCIENCE
ONLINE METHODS
npg
© 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
Animal procedures. All experimental procedures related to the use of mice were
approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees of the Allen
Institute for Brain Science, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston University,
Seattle Children’s Research Institute, or Rutgers University, in accordance with NIH
guidelines. A total of ~70 mice, both male and female, were used in the study.
Gene targeting in ES cells and generation of knock-in Cre reporter mice.
Targeting constructs were generated using a combined gene synthesis (GenScript)
and molecular cloning approach. ChR2(H134R)-tdTomato was synthesized based
on the hChR2 sequence26, and ChR2(H134R)-EYFP was synthesized based on the
ChR2 sequence3. Both fragments, as well as the ss-Arch-EGFP-ER2 (ref. 6) and
the eNpHR3.0-EYFP (ref. 23) fragments, were each cloned into a Rosa26-pCAGLSL-WPRE-bGHpA targeting vector9, between LSL and WPRE sequences. LSL
sequence contains specifically loxP – Stop codons – 3x SV40 polyA – loxP.
The targeting vectors were linearized and transfected into the 129/B6 F1 hybrid
ES cell line G4 (ref. 44). G418-resistant ES clones were first screened by PCR
using primers spanning the 1.1 kb 5′ genomic arm (forward primer: 5′-gggctccg
gctcctcagaga-3′, reverse primer: 5′-atgccaggcgggccatttac-3′), and then confirmed
by Southern blot analysis of HindIII-digested DNA, which was probed with a
1.1 kb genomic fragment from immediately upstream of the 5′ arm. Positive
ES clones were injected into C57BL/6J blastocysts to obtain chimeric mice following standard procedures. Chimeric mice were bred with C57BL/6J mice to
obtain germline transmitted F1 mice. The reporter mice can be bred with the
Rosa26-PhiC31 mice (JAX stock # 007743)45 to delete the PGK-neo cassette in
the germline of the mice.
Expression characterization. Reporter mice were crossed to various Cre lines,
including Emx1-Cre (JAX stock # 005628), Camk2a-CreERT2 (JAX # 012362),
Pvalb-IRES-Cre (JAX # 008069) and Chat-IRES-Cre (JAX # 006410). Expression
of the reporter genes was assessed by both native fluorescence (without antibody
staining) on perfused, microtomed sections and by ISH.
For ISH, the Allen Institute–established pipelines for tissue processing, probe
hybridization, image acquisition and data processing were used. The procedures
were previously described9,46 and can be found at the Transgenic Mouse database (http://help.brain-map.org/display/mouseconnectivity/documentation/).
Expression levels were analyzed with 2-tailed, paired or unpaired Student’s t-test
at an alpha level of 0.05.
Electrophysiology and photostimulation on Ai27 and Ai32 brain slices. P30–
P60 mice were used. Recordings on 300-µm-thick barrel cortical slices were performed in the presence of 5 µM (R)-CPP (Tocris) and 10 µM NBQX (Tocris).
Electrophysiology and stimulus conditions were as described26. A series of 473-nm
laser pulses (Crystal Laser) of 1-ms duration and 30–1,770 µW (at specimen) for
photostimulation was delivered through an air objective (4x; 0.16 NA; UPlanApo,
Olympus) with a beam diameter of 6–20 µm (scattering in the tissue was not taken
into account). Photostimulation marched through an 8 × 16 grid with 50 µm
spacing. The laser stimuli were given in a spatial sequence designed to avoid
consecutive stimulation to neighboring spots to minimize desensitization47. Data
were acquired using Ephus (http://www.ephus.org/).
Inflection point analysis. APs triggered in axons could be distinguished from
those triggered in somata and dendrites by their waveforms. Dendritic APs have
a charging phase that precedes reaching the AP threshold (set to be 15 mV) at the
inflection points. To determine the charging phase and the inflection point, we
calculated the first derivative of an AP trace. The AP was identified as a derivative
peak larger than 25 mV/ms, the charging phase as a derivative peak before AP
and larger than 0.5 mV/ms, and the inflection point as the lowest derivative point
between the charging peak and the AP peak. APs with an inflection point higher
than 15mV were scored as somatic/dendritic; otherwise, as axonal.
In utero electroporation. In utero electroporation (IUE) was done as previously
described26,28. In brief, the plasmids for electroporation contained ChR2-mVenus
(2 µg/µl) and cytoplasmic mCherry at 3:1 molar ratio. E16 timed-pregnant
C57BL/6J mice were deeply anesthetized using an isoflurane-oxygen mixture.
The uterine horns were exposed and 0.2–0.5 µl of DNA solution with Fast Green
dye (Sigma) was pressure injected (Picospritzer, General Valve) through a pulled
doi:1.1038/nn.3078
glass capillary tube (Warner Instruments). The head of each embryo was placed
between custom-made tweezer-electrodes, with the positive plate contacting the
right side of the head. For E16 animals, the transfection was restricted to layer
2/3 cortical cells in the electroporated hemisphere. IUE mice were used for slice
physiology at ages of P14–P21.
Electrophysiology and photostimulation on Ai35 and Ai39 brain slices. Mice
7–21 weeks old were used to prepare coronal slices (neocortex experiments,
350–400 µm thick; hippocampus experiments, 400–500 µm thick) for intra­cellular
whole cell recordings. Illumination of brain slice preparations was supplied by
a 593-nm, 50-mW yellow laser (LaserSight Technologies), a 640-nm, 50-mW
diode red laser (Opto Engine) or a Luxeon 5 W white LED (Lumileds Lighting).
Light sources were coupled to a 200-µm, 0.22-NA optical fiber. Light output was
calibrated with a Thorlabs PM100 m and S130A detector (Thorlabs).
Hippocampal network recordings. Young adult mice (P35–50, Fig. 5) and adult
mice (6 months, Supplementary Fig. 6) were used. Extracellular KCl was elevated
from 3 to 8 mM over a 20-min period to initiate spontaneous bursting in the hippo­
campal slice. Experiments began 10 min after KCl reached 8 mM. Extracellular
recordings were made from areas CA1 and CA3 using glass electrodes filled with
ACSF (<2 MΩ). An optical fiber (200-µm diameter) connected to a computerdriven white LED source (Fig. 5) or a 640-nm laser (Supplementary Fig. 6)
was positioned over CA3 or CA1. Population bursting and the integration of
population bursts were recorded before, during and after the light stimulation.
Integration of the population bursts was conducted in real-time using an inline integrator (time constant = 200 ms; James Franck Institute electronic shop).
Instantaneous frequency and amplitude of integrated bursts were analyzed post
hoc using Clampfit 10. Differences were determined using 2-tailed unpaired t-test
between two means, or one-way repeated measures ANOVA followed by multiple
comparisons testing (Dunnett’s comparison) among three or more means.
In vivo photostimulation and extracellular recording in awake, head-fixed
mice. Recordings in awake head-fixed mice (3–7 months old) were performed
as previously described6,32. Briefly, under isoflurane anesthesia, a plastic headplate was implanted over the cortex. Once the mouse recovered from surgery,
recordings were made while the mouse was awake and head fixed, using linear
multi-contact silicone electrodes (NeuroNexus). To avoid light-induced artifact
on the silicone electrodes, we also used borosilicate glass microelectrodes filled
with saline. The glass microelectrodes had an impedance of ~7 MΩ . Optical fibers were coupled to the electrodes (100-µm fiber coupled to silicone electrode,
and 200-µm fiber to glass electrode), with the tip positioned 500–900 µm above
the recording sites. The optical fiber was connected to a green laser (532 nm) or
a blue laser (473 nm), with tunable power (Shanghai Laser Corp). Lasers were
controlled by a function generator (Agilent Tech). Light intensity was measured
with a power meter PM100D (Thorlabs). Data acquisition was performed with a
multichannel Omniplex system (Plexon) for the NeuroNexus silicone electrode,
or with a Multiclamp 700B amplifier and digitized with a Digidata 1440 digitizer
(Molecular Device).
Spikes were sorted with Offline Sorter 3.0 (Plexon). Neurons modulated by
light were identified by performing a paired t-test, for each neuron, between the
baseline firing rate before light onset and firing rate during light illumination,
across all trials for that neuron, thresholding at P < 0.05 significance level as
previously described6,32. Instantaneous firing rate histograms were computed
by averaging the instantaneous firing rate with a time bin of 10 ms for Ai35 and
Ai39 neurons or 5 ms for Ai32 and Ai27 neurons.
Both green and blue light illumination of the silicone multi-contact electrodes produced significant slow artifacts, as previously observed with tungsten
electrodes32. The blue light-induced artifact was particularly strong on the silicone electrodes, which sometimes saturated the data acquisition amplifier at
the onset of each light pulse; thus, we excluded the first 20 ms after light onset
for calculations for all Ai27 and Ai32 neurons. The green light-induced artifact
on silicone electrodes was much smaller in magnitude, and never saturated
the amplifier system, allowing us to determine the latency of light-induced
neural modulation in Ai35 and Ai39 mice. Light did not produce any optical
artifact on glass electrodes. Latency was defined as the time from light onset
to the time at which firing rate was significantly different from baseline for the
following 30 ms.
nature NEUROSCIENCE
Considerations for light intensity measurement in different experimental
paradigms. The amount of depolarization or hyperpolarization generated in
a given cell is corresponding to the summation of the photocurrents generated
from all the activated opsin molecules. The latter is proportional to irradiance
(light intensity per unit area) at the target multiplied by the illuminated surface
area of the target cell (including cell body and dendritic/axonal processes, without considering further heterogeneity in opsin distribution and local membrane
excitability). Therefore illumination by a diffused light (for example, directly from
a LED or through a regular optical fiber) with lower irradiance but covering a
larger surface area of the cell could have the same effect as illumination by a high
intensity and highly focused, therefore high irradiance, light beam (for example, laser light through the objective lens) on a smaller surface area of the cell.
Furthermore, even highly focused light becomes scattered as it enters the brain
tissue, and it is impossible to estimate the actual irradiance at the target without
knowing the location and depth of the cell or which part of it is illuminated. For
these reasons, different methods were employed to report the light intensities in
our study. In brain slice photosilencing experiments (Figs. 3–5), irradiance (in
mW mm−2) of the relatively diffused light at the surface of the brain slice was
presented. In brain slice photoactivation experiments (Fig. 2) radiant flux (that
is, light intensity, in mW) of the focused light beam (6–20 µm wide) at the surface
of the brain slice was presented. In the in vivo photostimulation of cortical excitatory neurons (Fig. 6), the irradiance at the recorded cell level was estimated by
Monte Carlo simulation based on known distance between the tip of the optical
fiber (100–200 µm wide) and the electrode. In the in vivo photostimulation of
hippocampal and thalamic Pvalb-positive neurons (Fig. 7), radiant flux at the tip
of the etched optical fiber (5–20 µm wide) that was attached to the silicon probe
was reported. All these types of descriptions can be considered appropriate for
cross-experimental comparisons in each of their respective protocols where the
light delivery approach is consistent.
44.George, S.H. et al. Developmental and adult phenotyping directly from mutant
embryonic stem cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 4455–4460 (2007).
45.Raymond, C.S. & Soriano, P. High-efficiency FLP and PhiC31 site-specific
recombination in mammalian cells. PLoS ONE 2, e162 (2007).
46.Lein, E.S. et al. Genome-wide atlas of gene expression in the adult mouse brain.
Nature 445, 168–176 (2007).
47.Shepherd, G.M., Pologruto, T.A. & Svoboda, K. Circuit analysis of experiencedependent plasticity in the developing rat barrel cortex. Neuron 38, 277–289
(2003).
48.Harris, K.D., Henze, D.A., Csicsvari, J., Hirase, H. & Buzsaki, G. Accuracy of tetrode
spike separation as determined by simultaneous intracellular and extracellular
measurements. J. Neurophysiol. 84, 401–414 (2000).
npg
© 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
In vivo photostimulation and extracellular recording in behaving Pvalb-IRESCre;Ai32 mice. Fiber-based optoelectronic probes were constructed as previously
described34. The silicon probes have four shanks (Buzsaki32 from NeuroNexus).
The shanks are 200 µm apart from each other and bear eight recording sites each
(160 µm2 each site; 1–3 MΩ impedance) arranged in a staggered configuration
(20 µm vertical separation)40. As light guides, we used multi-mode optical fibers
(105 µm in diameter; AFS 105/125; Thorlabs). To restrict light activation only
to the brain volume monitored by the silicon probe, the fiber was etched by
dipping into concentrated hydrofluoric acid until the desired 5–20 µm diameter
was achieved. The fiber was positioned on the silicon shank ~100 µm above
the uppermost recording site, and the rest of the fiber was glued to the shank.
Light modulation was provided by DPSS laser (473 nm; SDL-473-050T; Shanghai
Dream Lasers Technology). The intensity of light at the tip of the etched fiber
could be varied. Typical stimulus intensity varied between 1 to 5 mW.
Recordings were performed either in anesthetized (isoflurane) or waking,
freely behaving mice (6–8 weeks old). In the chronic mice, the optoelectronic
probe assembly was fixed to a micromanipulator and lowered into the brain by
slow steps. In mice with light activation of the reticular nucleus, etched optic fibers
were placed in the reticular nucleus unilaterally or bilaterally. Cortical activity
was monitored by epidural recordings, using no. 000 screws driven into the bone.
Recording sessions typically lasted for 1 h, during which the animal’s behavior
alternated between periods of walking and immobility. Neurophysiological signals were amplified and multiplexed by a miniature head-stage of a 256-channel
multiplexed amplifier system and the multiplexed signals were directly recorded
by the computer. After recovery, the animals could move relatively unconstrained
due to the low weight and small size of the head-stage as well as the low number of
connecting wires. Neuronal activity was sampled at 20 kHz per channel at 16 bit
resolution, while the overall gain of the multiplexer system was 400× (KJE-1000;
Amplipex). Spike sorting was performed semi-automatically, using KlustaKwik,
followed by manual adjustment of the clusters48.
nature NEUROSCIENCE
doi:1.1038/nn.3078
×

Report this document