Presynaptic ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs) have long been proposed to affect neurotransmitter release and to tune neural circuit activity. However, the understanding of their in vivo physiological action remains limited, partly due to the complexity in channel types and scarcity of genetic models. Here we report that C. elegans LGC-46, a member of the Cys-loop acetylcholine (ACh)-gated chloride (ACC) channel family, localizes to presynaptic terminals of cholinergic motor neurons and regulates synaptic vesicle (SV) release kinetics upon evoked release of acetylcholine. Loss of lgc-46 prolongs evoked release, without altering spontaneous activity. Conversely, a gain-of-function mutation of lgc-46 shortens evoked release to reduce synaptic transmission. This inhibition of presynaptic release requires the anion selectivity of LGC-46, and can ameliorate cholinergic over-excitation in a C. elegans model of excitation-inhibition imbalance. These data demonstrate a novel mechanism of presynaptic negative feedback in which an anion-selective LGIC acts as an auto-receptor to inhibit SV release.
- Yishi Jin
- Yishi Jin
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Oliver Hobert, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University, United States
© 2016, Takayanagi-Kiya et al.
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Humans and animals make predictions about the rewards they expect to receive in different situations. In formal models of behavior, these predictions are known as value representations, and they play two very different roles. Firstly, they drive choice: the expected values of available options are compared to one another, and the best option is selected. Secondly, they support learning: expected values are compared to rewards actually received, and future expectations are updated accordingly. Whether these different functions are mediated by different neural representations remains an open question. Here we employ a recently-developed multi-step task for rats that computationally separates learning from choosing. We investigate the role of value representations in the rodent orbitofrontal cortex, a key structure for value-based cognition. Electrophysiological recordings and optogenetic perturbations indicate that these representations do not directly drive choice. Instead, they signal expected reward information to a learning process elsewhere in the brain that updates choice mechanisms.
The human cerebral cortex is symmetrically organized along large-scale axes but also presents inter-hemispheric differences in structure and function. The quantified contralateral homologous difference, that is asymmetry, is a key feature of the human brain left-right axis supporting functional processes, such as language. Here, we assessed whether the asymmetry of cortical functional organization is heritable and phylogenetically conserved between humans and macaques. Our findings indicate asymmetric organization along an axis describing a functional trajectory from perceptual/action to abstract cognition. Whereas language network showed leftward asymmetric organization, frontoparietal network showed rightward asymmetric organization in humans. These asymmetries were heritable in humans and showed a similar spatial distribution with macaques, in the case of intra-hemispheric asymmetry of functional hierarchy. This suggests (phylo)genetic conservation. However, both language and frontoparietal networks showed a qualitatively larger asymmetry in humans relative to macaques. Overall, our findings suggest a genetic basis for asymmetry in intrinsic functional organization, linked to higher order cognitive functions uniquely developed in humans.