A whole-brain connectivity map of mouse insular cortex

  1. Daniel August Gehrlach
  2. Caroline Weiand
  3. Thomas N Gaitanos
  4. Eunjae Cho
  5. Alexandra S Klein
  6. Alexandru A Hennrich
  7. Karl-Klaus Conzelmann
  8. Nadine Gogolla  Is a corresponding author
  1. Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Germany
  2. Max von Pettenkofer-Institute & Gene Center, Germany

Abstract

The insular cortex (IC) plays key roles in emotional and regulatory brain functions and is affected across psychiatric diseases. However, the brain-wide connections of the mouse IC have not been comprehensively mapped. Here we traced the whole-brain inputs and outputs of the mouse IC across its rostro-caudal extent. We employed cell-type specific monosynaptic rabies virus tracings to characterize afferent connections onto either excitatory or inhibitory IC neurons, and adeno-associated viral tracings to label excitatory efferent axons. While the connectivity between the IC and other cortical regions was highly bidirectional, the IC connectivity with subcortical structures was often unidirectional, revealing prominent cortical-to-subcortical or subcortical-to-cortical pathways. The posterior and medial IC exhibited resembling connectivity patterns, while the anterior IC connectivity was distinct, suggesting two major functional compartments. Our results provide insights into the anatomical architecture of the mouse IC and thus a structural basis to guide investigations into its complex functions.

Data availability

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided in Supplementary File 2.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Daniel August Gehrlach

    Neurobiology, Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Planegg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Caroline Weiand

    Neurobiology, Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Planegg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Thomas N Gaitanos

    Neurobiology, Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Planegg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Eunjae Cho

    Neurobiology, Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Planegg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Alexandra S Klein

    Neurobiology, Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Planegg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Alexandru A Hennrich

    Medical Faculty, Max von Pettenkofer-Institute & Gene Center, Munich, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Karl-Klaus Conzelmann

    Medical Faculty, Max von Pettenkofer-Institute & Gene Center, Munich, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Nadine Gogolla

    Neurobiology, Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Planegg, Germany
    For correspondence
    ngogolla@neuro.mpg.de
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-3754-7133

Funding

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

  • Caroline Weiand
  • Nadine Gogolla

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SPP1665)

  • Daniel August Gehrlach
  • Alexandru A Hennrich
  • Karl-Klaus Conzelmann
  • Nadine Gogolla

Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (ERC-2017-STG 758448)

  • Thomas N Gaitanos
  • Nadine Gogolla

Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-17-CE37-0021)

  • Alexandra S Klein
  • Nadine Gogolla

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 animals were used in accordance with the regulations and under licenses obtained from the government of Upper Bavaria (Animal license AZ: 55.2-1-54-2532-56-2014).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Kate M Wassum, University of California, Los Angeles, United States

Version history

  1. Received: January 29, 2020
  2. Accepted: September 16, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: September 17, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: October 6, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Gehrlach 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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  1. Daniel August Gehrlach
  2. Caroline Weiand
  3. Thomas N Gaitanos
  4. Eunjae Cho
  5. Alexandra S Klein
  6. Alexandru A Hennrich
  7. Karl-Klaus Conzelmann
  8. Nadine Gogolla
(2020)
A whole-brain connectivity map of mouse insular cortex
eLife 9:e55585.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.55585

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