Optical imaging has become a powerful tool for studying brains in vivo. The opacity of adult brains makes microendoscopy, with an optical probe such as a gradient index (GRIN) lens embedded into brain tissue to provide optical relay, the method of choice for imaging neurons and neural activity in deeply buried brain structures. Incorporating a Bessel focus scanning module into two-photon fluorescence microendoscopy, we extended the excitation focus axially and improved its lateral resolution. Scanning the Bessel focus in 2D, we imaged volumes of neurons at high-throughput while resolving fine structures such as synaptic terminals. We applied this approach to the volumetric anatomical imaging of dendritic spines and axonal boutons in the mouse hippocampus, and functional imaging of GABAergic neurons in the mouse lateral hypothalamus in vivo.
Almost all data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper or the supplementary materials; Raw image data for Figs. 2, 4 & 9 are available from Dryad, 10.5061/dryad.pr4t978
- Guanghan Meng
- Yajie Liang
- Wan-chen Jiang
- Rongwen Lu
- Joshua Tate Dudman
- Na Ji
- Guanghan Meng
- Na Ji
- Sarah Sarsfield
- Yeka Aponte
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animal experiments were conducted according to the United States National Institutes of Health guidelines for animal research. Procedures and protocols were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (protocol number: 16-147)
- David Kleinfeld, University of California, San Diego, United States
© 2019, Meng 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.
The presynaptic protein α-synuclein (αSyn) has been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). In PD, the amygdala is prone to develop insoluble αSyn aggregates, and it has been suggested that circuit dysfunction involving the amygdala contributes to the psychiatric symptoms. Yet, how αSyn aggregates affect amygdala function is unknown. In this study, we examined αSyn in glutamatergic axon terminals and the impact of its aggregation on glutamatergic transmission in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). We found that αSyn is primarily present in the vesicular glutamate transporter 1-expressing (vGluT1+) terminals in mouse BLA, which is consistent with higher levels of αSyn expression in vGluT1+ glutamatergic neurons in the cerebral cortex relative to the vGluT2+ glutamatergic neurons in the thalamus. We found that αSyn aggregation selectively decreased the cortico-BLA, but not the thalamo-BLA, transmission; and that cortico-BLA synapses displayed enhanced short-term depression upon repetitive stimulation. In addition, using confocal microscopy, we found that vGluT1+ axon terminals exhibited decreased levels of soluble αSyn, which suggests that lower levels of soluble αSyn might underlie the enhanced short-term depression of cortico-BLA synapses. In agreement with this idea, we found that cortico-BLA synaptic depression was also enhanced in αSyn knockout mice. In conclusion, both basal and dynamic cortico-BLA transmission were disrupted by abnormal aggregation of αSyn and these changes might be relevant to the perturbed cortical control of the amygdala that has been suggested to play a role in psychiatric symptoms in PD.
Animals can evolve dramatic sensory functions in response to environmental constraints, but little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying these changes. The Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus, is a leading model to study genetic, behavioral, and physiological evolution by comparing eyed surface populations and blind cave populations. We compared neurophysiological responses of posterior lateral line afferent neurons and motor neurons across A. mexicanus populations to reveal how shifts in sensory function may shape behavioral diversity. These studies indicate differences in intrinsic afferent signaling and gain control across populations. Elevated endogenous afferent activity identified a lower response threshold in the lateral line of blind cavefish relative to surface fish leading to increased evoked potentials during hair cell deflection in cavefish. We next measured the effect of inhibitory corollary discharges from hindbrain efferent neurons onto afferents during locomotion. We discovered that three independently derived cavefish populations have evolved persistent afferent activity during locomotion, suggesting for the first time that partial loss of function in the efferent system can be an evolutionary mechanism for neural adaptation of a vertebrate sensory system.