To understand the function of neuronal circuits it is crucial to disentangle the connectivity patterns within the network. However, most tools currently used to explore connectivity have low throughput, low selectivity, or limited accessibility. Here, we report the development of an improved packaging system for the production of the highly neurotropic RVdGenvA-CVS-N2c rabies viral vectors, yielding titers orders of magnitude higher with no background contamination, at a fraction of the production time, while preserving the efficiency of transsynaptic labeling. Along with the production pipeline, we developed suites of 'starter' AAV and bicistronic RVdG-CVS-N2c vectors, enabling retrograde labeling from a wide range of neuronal populations, tailored for diverse experimental requirements. We demonstrate the power and flexibility of the new system by uncovering hidden local and distal inhibitory connections in the mouse hippocampal formation and by imaging the functional properties of a cortical microcircuit across weeks. Our novel production pipeline provides a convenient approach to generate new rabies vectors, while our toolkit flexibly and efficiently expands the current capacity to label, manipulate and image the neuronal activity of interconnected neuronal circuits in vitro and in vivo.
All source data associated with the manuscript has been included in the manuscript.
- Peter Jonas
- Peter Jonas
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Experiments on C57BL/6 wild-type and transgenic mice were performed in strict accordance with institutional, national, and European guidelines for animal experimentation and were approved by the Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Wirtschaft and Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung, respectively, of Austria (A. Haslinger, Vienna; BMWF-66.018/0010-WF/V/3b/2015; BMBWF-66.018/0008-WF/V/3b/2018).
- Rebecca Seal, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, United States
© 2022, Sumser 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.
Motherhood induces a drastic, sometimes long-lasting, change in internal state and behavior in many female animals. How a change in reproductive state or the discrete event of mating modulates specific female behaviors is still incompletely understood. Using calcium imaging of the whole brain of Drosophila females, we find that mating does not induce a global change in brain activity. Instead, mating modulates the pheromone response of dopaminergic neurons innervating the fly’s learning and memory center, the mushroom body (MB). Using the mating-induced increased attraction to the odor of important nutrients, polyamines, we show that disruption of the female fly’s ability to smell, for instance the pheromone cVA, during mating leads to a reduction in polyamine preference for days later indicating that the odor environment at mating lastingly influences female perception and choice behavior. Moreover, dopaminergic neurons including innervation of the β’1 compartment are sufficient to induce the lasting behavioral increase in polyamine preference. We further show that MB output neurons (MBON) of the β’1 compartment are activated by pheromone odor and their activity during mating bidirectionally modulates preference behavior in mated and virgin females. Their activity is not required, however, for the expression of polyamine attraction. Instead, inhibition of another type of MBON innervating the β’2 compartment enables expression of high odor attraction. In addition, the response of a lateral horn (LH) neuron, AD1b2, which output is required for the expression of polyamine attraction, shows a modulated polyamine response after mating. Taken together, our data in the fly suggests that mating-related sensory experience regulates female odor perception and expression of choice behavior through a dopamine-gated learning circuit.