Early adversity is a risk factor for the development of adult psychopathology. Common across multiple rodent models of early adversity is increased signaling via forebrain Gq-coupled neurotransmitter receptors. We addressed whether enhanced Gq-mediated signaling in forebrain excitatory neurons during postnatal life can evoke persistent mood-related behavioral changes. Excitatory hM3Dq DREADD-mediated chemogenetic activation of forebrain excitatory neurons during postnatal life (P2-14), but not in juvenile or adult windows, increased anxiety-, despair-, and schizophrenia-like behavior in adulthood. This was accompanied by an enhanced metabolic rate of cortical and hippocampal glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. Furthermore, we observed reduced activity and plasticity-associated marker expression, and perturbed excitatory/inhibitory currents in the hippocampus. These results indicate that Gq signaling mediated activation of forebrain excitatory neurons during the critical postnatal window is sufficient to program altered mood-related behavior, as well as functional changes in forebrain glutamate and GABA systems, recapitulating aspects of the consequences of early adversity.
All data generated or analysed during are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figure 2 and Figure 3.
- Vidita A Vaidya
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 carried out in strict accordance with the guideline of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA), Government of India. Experiments and use of animals were approved by the institutional ethics committees of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India (TIFR/IAEC/2017-2; 56/GO/ReBi/S/99/CPCSEA); Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru, India ( JPC001, JPC005; 201/GO/Re/S/2000/CPCSEA); and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India (IAEC 32/2018; 20/GO/RBi/S/99/CPCSEA). Care was taken across all experiments to minimize animal suffering and restrict the number of animals used.
- Joseph F Cheer, University of Maryland School of Medicine, United States
© 2020, Pati 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.
Deciphering patterns of connectivity between neurons in the brain is a critical step toward understanding brain function. Imaging-based neuroanatomical tracing identifies area-to-area or sparse neuron-to-neuron connectivity patterns, but with limited throughput. Barcode-based connectomics maps large numbers of single-neuron projections, but remains a challenge for jointly analyzing single-cell transcriptomics. Here, we established a rAAV2-retro barcode-based multiplexed tracing method that simultaneously characterizes the projectome and transcriptome at the single neuron level. We uncovered dedicated and collateral projection patterns of ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) neurons to five downstream targets and found that projection-defined vmPFC neurons are molecularly heterogeneous. We identified transcriptional signatures of projection-specific vmPFC neurons, and verified Pou3f1 as a marker gene enriched in neurons projecting to the lateral hypothalamus, denoting a distinct subset with collateral projections to both dorsomedial striatum and lateral hypothalamus. In summary, we have developed a new multiplexed technique whose paired connectome and gene expression data can help reveal organizational principles that form neural circuits and process information.
Blindness affects millions of people around the world. A promising solution to restoring a form of vision for some individuals are cortical visual prostheses, which bypass part of the impaired visual pathway by converting camera input to electrical stimulation of the visual system. The artificially induced visual percept (a pattern of localized light flashes, or ‘phosphenes’) has limited resolution, and a great portion of the field’s research is devoted to optimizing the efficacy, efficiency, and practical usefulness of the encoding of visual information. A commonly exploited method is non-invasive functional evaluation in sighted subjects or with computational models by using simulated prosthetic vision (SPV) pipelines. An important challenge in this approach is to balance enhanced perceptual realism, biologically plausibility, and real-time performance in the simulation of cortical prosthetic vision. We present a biologically plausible, PyTorch-based phosphene simulator that can run in real-time and uses differentiable operations to allow for gradient-based computational optimization of phosphene encoding models. The simulator integrates a wide range of clinical results with neurophysiological evidence in humans and non-human primates. The pipeline includes a model of the retinotopic organization and cortical magnification of the visual cortex. Moreover, the quantitative effects of stimulation parameters and temporal dynamics on phosphene characteristics are incorporated. Our results demonstrate the simulator’s suitability for both computational applications such as end-to-end deep learning-based prosthetic vision optimization as well as behavioral experiments. The modular and open-source software provides a flexible simulation framework for computational, clinical, and behavioral neuroscientists working on visual neuroprosthetics.