Identification of Optogenetically Activated Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons by Npas4 Expression

Asim K. Bepari, Hiromi Sano, Nobuaki Tamamaki, Atsushi Nambu, Kenji Tanaka, Hirohide Takebayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Optogenetics is a powerful neuromodulatory tool with many unique advantages to explore functions of neuronal circuits in physiology and diseases. Yet, interpretation of cellular and behavioral responses following in vivo optogenetic manipulation of brain activities in experimental animals often necessitates identification of photoactivated neurons with high spatial resolution. Although tracing expression of immediate early genes (IEGs) provides a convenient approach, neuronal activation is not always followed by specific induction of widely used neuronal activity markers like c-fos, Egr1 and Arc. In this study we performed unilateral optogenetic stimulation of the striatum in freely moving transgenic mice that expressed a channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) variant ChR2(C128S) in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs). We found that in vivo blue light stimulation significantly altered electrophysiological activity of striatal neurons and animal behaviors. To identify photoactivated neurons we then analyzed IEG expression patterns using in situ hybridization. Upon light illumination an induction of c-fos was not apparent whereas another neuronal IEG Npas4 was robustly induced in MSNs ipsilaterally. Our results demonstrate that tracing Npas4 mRNA expression following in vivo optogenetic modulation can be an effective tool for reliable and sensitive identification of activated MSNs in the mouse striatum.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere52783
JournalPLoS One
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec 29

Fingerprint

Corpus Striatum
Optogenetics
Neurons
neurons
Immediate-Early Genes
Animals
Genes
Light
Animal Behavior
mice
Physiology
blue light
Lighting
Gene expression
animal behavior
in situ hybridization
Transgenic Mice
In Situ Hybridization
laboratory animals
lighting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Identification of Optogenetically Activated Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons by Npas4 Expression. / Bepari, Asim K.; Sano, Hiromi; Tamamaki, Nobuaki; Nambu, Atsushi; Tanaka, Kenji; Takebayashi, Hirohide.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 7, No. 12, e52783, 29.12.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bepari, Asim K. ; Sano, Hiromi ; Tamamaki, Nobuaki ; Nambu, Atsushi ; Tanaka, Kenji ; Takebayashi, Hirohide. / Identification of Optogenetically Activated Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons by Npas4 Expression. In: PLoS One. 2012 ; Vol. 7, No. 12.
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