In developing and mature nervous systems, diverse neuronal subtypes innervate common targets to establish, maintain, and modify neural circuit function. A major challenge towards understanding the structural and functional architecture of neural circuits is to separate these inputs and determine their intrinsic and heterosynaptic relationships. The Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction is a powerful model system to study these questions, where two glutamatergic motor neurons, the strong phasic-like <strong>Is</strong> and weak tonic-like <strong>Ib</strong>, co-innervate individual muscle targets to coordinate locomotor behavior. However, complete neurotransmission from each input has never been electrophysiologically separated. We have employed a botulinum neurotoxin, BoNT-C, that eliminates both spontaneous and evoked neurotransmission without perturbing synaptic growth or structure, enabling the first approach that accurately isolates input-specific neurotransmission. Selective expression of BoNT-C in Is or Ib motor neurons disambiguates the functional properties of each input. Importantly, the blended values of Is+Ib neurotransmission can be fully recapitulated by isolated physiology from each input. Finally, selective silencing by BoNT-C does not induce heterosynaptic structural or functional plasticity at the convergent input. Thus, BoNT-C establishes the first approach to accurately separate neurotransmission between tonic vs phasic neurons and defines heterosynaptic plasticity rules in a powerful model glutamatergic circuit.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. In particular, full details of the data are included in Supplemental files 1 and 2.
- Dion K Dickman
- Dion K Dickman
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Chris Q Doe, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Oregon, United States
© 2022, Han 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.
We created a new nonhuman primate model of the genetic neurodegenerative disorder Huntington’s disease (HD) by injecting a mixture of recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors, serotypes AAV2 and AAV2.retro, each expressing a fragment of human mutant HTT (mHTT) into the caudate and putamen of adult rhesus macaques. This modeling strategy results in expression of mutant huntingtin protein (mHTT) and aggregate formation in the injected brain regions, as well as dozens of other cortical and subcortical brain regions affected in human HD patients. We queried the disruption of cortico-basal ganglia circuitry for 30 months post-surgery using a variety of behavioral and imaging readouts. Compared to controls, mHTT-treated macaques developed working memory decline and progressive motor impairment. Multimodal imaging revealed circuit-wide white and gray matter degenerative processes in several key brain regions affected in HD. Taken together, we have developed a novel macaque model of HD that may be used to develop disease biomarkers and screen promising therapeutics.
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