Speech is a complex sensorimotor skill, and vocal learning involves both the basal ganglia and the cerebellum. These subcortical structures interact indirectly through their respective loops with thalamo-cortical and brainstem networks, and directly via subcortical pathways, but the role of their interaction during sensorimotor learning remains undetermined. While songbirds and their song-dedicated basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical circuitry offer an unique opportunity to study subcortical circuits involved in vocal learning, the cerebellar contribution to avian song learning remains unknown. We demonstrate that the cerebellum provides a strong input to the song-related basal ganglia nucleus in zebra finches. Cerebellar signals are transmitted to the basal ganglia via a disynaptic connection through the thalamus and then conveyed to their cortical target and to the premotor nucleus controlling song production. Finally, cerebellar lesions impair juvenile song learning, opening new opportunities to investigate how subcortical interactions between the cerebellum and basal ganglia contribute to sensorimotor learning.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Arthur Leblois
- Arthur Leblois
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Animal care and experiments were carried out in accordance with the European directives (2010-63-UE) and the French guidelines (project 02260.01, Ministère de l'Agriculture et de la Forêt). Experiments were approved by Paris Descartes University ethics committee (Permit Number: 13-092).
- Jennifer L Raymond, Stanford School of Medicine, United States
© 2018, Pidoux et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Recording technologies for rodents have seen huge advances in the last decade, allowing users to sample thousands of neurons simultaneously from multiple brain regions. This has prompted the need for digital tool kits to aid in curating anatomical data, however, existing tools either provide limited functionalities or require users to be proficient in coding to use them. To address this we created HERBS (Histological E-data Registration in rodent Brain Spaces), a comprehensive new tool for rodent users that offers a broad range of functionalities through a user-friendly graphical user interface. Prior to experiments, HERBS can be used to plan coordinates for implanting electrodes, targeting viral injections or tracers. After experiments, users can register recording electrode locations (e.g. Neuropixels and tetrodes), viral expression, or other anatomical features, and visualize the results in 2D or 3D. Additionally, HERBS can delineate labeling from multiple injections across tissue sections and obtain individual cell counts.Regional delineations in HERBS are based either on annotated 3D volumes from the Waxholm Space Atlas of the Sprague Dawley Rat Brain or the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas, though HERBS can work with compatible volume atlases from any species users wish to install. HERBS allows users to scroll through the digital brain atlases and provides custom-angle slice cuts through the volumes, and supports free-transformation of tissue sections to atlas slices. Furthermore, HERBS allows users to reconstruct a 3D brain mesh with tissue from individual animals. HERBS is a multi-platform open-source Python package that is available on PyPI and GitHub, and is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.
Individual sensory neurons can be tuned to many stimuli, each driving unique, stimulus-relevant behaviors, and the ability of multimodal nociceptor neurons to discriminate between potentially harmful and innocuous stimuli is broadly important for organismal survival. Moreover, disruptions in the capacity to differentiate between noxious and innocuous stimuli can result in neuropathic pain. Drosophila larval class III (CIII) neurons are peripheral noxious cold nociceptors and innocuous touch mechanosensors; high levels of activation drive cold-evoked contraction (CT) behavior, while low levels of activation result in a suite of touch-associated behaviors. However, it is unknown what molecular factors underlie CIII multimodality. Here, we show that the TMEM16/anoctamins subdued and white walker (wwk; CG15270) are required for cold-evoked CT, but not for touch-associated behavior, indicating a conserved role for anoctamins in nociception. We also evidence that CIII neurons make use of atypical depolarizing chloride currents to encode cold, and that overexpression of ncc69—a fly homologue of NKCC1—results in phenotypes consistent with neuropathic sensitization, including behavioral sensitization and neuronal hyperexcitability, making Drosophila CIII neurons a candidate system for future studies of the basic mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain.