Dravet syndrome (DS) is a form of epilepsy with a high incidence of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Respiratory failure is a leading cause of SUDEP, and DS patients' frequently exhibit disordered breathing. Despite this, mechanisms underlying respiratory dysfunction in DS are unknown. We found that mice expressing a DS-associated Scn1a missense mutation (A1783V) conditionally in inhibitory neurons (Slc32a1cre/+::Scn1aA1783V fl/+; defined as Scn1aΔE26) exhibit spontaneous seizures, die prematurely and present a respiratory phenotype including hypoventilation, apnea, and a diminished ventilatory response to CO2. At the cellular level in the retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN), we found inhibitory neurons expressing the Scn1a A1783V variant are less excitable, whereas glutamatergic chemosensitive RTN neurons, which are a key source of the CO2/H+-dependent drive to breathe, are hyper-excitable in slices from Scn1aΔE26 mice. These results show loss of Scn1a function can disrupt respiratory control at the cellular and whole animal levels.
We have included source data files for all summary figures that do not include individual data points.
- Daniel K Mulkey
- Daniel K Mulkey
- Fu-Shan Kuo
- Joseph L LoTurco
- Colin M Cleary
- Daniel K Mulkey
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 use was in accordance with guidelines approved by the University of Connecticut Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. (Protocols A16-034 and A17-002).
- Jan-Marino Ramirez, Seattle Children's Research Institute and University of Washington, United States
© 2019, Kuo 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.
Striatal spiny projection neurons (SPNs) transform convergent excitatory corticostriatal inputs into an inhibitory signal that shapes basal ganglia output. This process is fine-tuned by striatal GABAergic interneurons (GINs), which receive overlapping cortical inputs and mediate rapid corticostriatal feedforward inhibition of SPNs. Adding another level of control, cholinergic interneurons (CINs), which are also vigorously activated by corticostriatal excitation, can disynaptically inhibit SPNs by activating α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) on various GINs. Measurements of this disynaptic inhibitory pathway, however, indicate that it is too slow to compete with direct GIN-mediated feedforward inhibition. Moreover, functional nAChRs are also present on populations of GINs that respond only weakly to phasic activation of CINs, such as parvalbumin-positive fast-spiking interneurons (PV-FSIs), making the overall role of nAChRs in shaping striatal synaptic integration unclear. Using acute striatal slices from mice we show that upon synchronous optogenetic activation of corticostriatal projections blockade of α4β2 nAChRs shortened SPN spike latencies and increased postsynaptic depolarizations. The nAChR-dependent inhibition was mediated by downstream GABA release, and data suggest that the GABA source was not limited to GINs that respond strongly to phasic CIN activation. In particular, the observed decrease in spike latency caused by nAChR blockade was associated with a diminished frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in SPNs, a parallel hyperpolarization of PV-FSIs, and was occluded by pharmacologically preventing cortical activation of PV-FSIs. Taken together, we describe a role for tonic (as opposed to phasic) activation of nAChRs in striatal function. We conclude that tonic activation of nAChRs by CINs maintains a GABAergic brake on cortically-driven striatal output by ‘priming’ feedforward inhibition, a process that may shape SPN spike timing, striatal processing, and synaptic plasticity.
Understanding neuronal representations of odor-evoked activities and their progressive transformation from the sensory level to higher brain centers features one of the major aims in olfactory neuroscience. Here, we investigated how odor information is transformed and represented in higher-order neurons of the lateral horn, one of the higher olfactory centers implicated in determining innate behavior, using Drosophila melanogaster. We focused on a subset of third-order glutamatergic lateral horn neurons (LHNs) and characterized their odor coding properties in relation to their presynaptic partner neurons, the projection neurons (PNs) by two-photon functional imaging. We show that odors evoke reproducible, stereotypic, and odor-specific response patterns in LHNs. Notably, odor-evoked responses in these neurons are valence-specific in a way that their response amplitude is positively correlated with innate odor preferences. We postulate that this valence-specific activity is the result of integrating inputs from multiple olfactory channels through second-order neurons. GRASP and micro-lesioning experiments provide evidence that glutamatergic LHNs obtain their major excitatory input from uniglomerular PNs, while they receive an odor-specific inhibition through inhibitory multiglomerular PNs. In summary, our study indicates that odor representations in glutamatergic LHNs encode hedonic valence and odor identity and primarily retain the odor coding properties of second-order neurons.