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A cross-modality enhancement of defensive flight via parvalbumin neurons in zona incerta

  1. Xiyue Wang
  2. Xiaolin Chou
  3. Bo Peng
  4. Li Shen
  5. Junxiang J Huang
  6. Li I Zhang
  7. Huizhong W Tao  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Southern California, United States
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e42728 doi: 10.7554/eLife.42728

Abstract

The ability to adjust defensive behavior is critical for animal survival in dynamic environments. However, neural circuits underlying the modulation of innate defensive behavior remain not well-understood. In particular, environmental threats are commonly associated with cues of multiple sensory modalities. It remains to be investigated how these modalities interact to shape defense behavior. In this study, we report that auditory-induced defensive flight can be facilitated by somatosensory input in mice. This cross-modality modulation of defensive behavior is mediated by the projection from the primary somatosensory cortex (SSp) to the ventral sector of zona incerta (ZIv). Parvalbumin-positive neurons in ZIv, receiving direct input from SSp, mediate the enhancement of the flight behavior via their projections to the medial posterior complex of thalamus (POm). Thus, defensive flight behavior can be enhanced in a somatosensory context-dependent manner via recruiting PV neurons in ZIv, which may be important for increasing survival of prey animals.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Xiyue Wang

    Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-5805-0778
  2. Xiaolin Chou

    Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Bo Peng

    Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Li Shen

    Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Junxiang J Huang

    Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Li I Zhang

    Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Huizhong W Tao

    Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States
    For correspondence
    htao@usc.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-3660-0513

Funding

National Institutes of Health (EY019049)

  • Huizhong W Tao

Karl Kirchgessner Foundation

  • Huizhong W Tao

National Institutes of Health (EY022478)

  • Huizhong W Tao

National Institutes of Health (R01DC008983)

  • Li I Zhang

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All experimental procedures used in this study were approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee at the University of Southern California under the protocol 20719.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Andrew J King, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: October 9, 2018
  2. Accepted: April 14, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 15, 2019 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2019, Wang 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.

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