Rod photoreceptor degeneration causes deterioration in the morphology and physiology of cone photoreceptors along with changes in retinal circuits. These changes could diminish visual signaling at cone-mediated light levels, thereby limiting the efficacy of treatments such as gene therapy for rescuing normal, cone-mediated vision. However, the impact of progressive rod death on cone-mediated signaling remains unclear. To investigate the fidelity of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) signaling throughout disease progression, we used a mouse model of rod degeneration (Cngb1neo/neo). Despite clear deterioration of cone morphology with rod death, cone-mediated signaling among RGCs remained surprisingly robust: spatiotemporal receptive fields changed little and the mutual information between stimuli and spiking responses was relatively constant. This relative stability held until nearly all rods had died and cones had completely lost well-formed outer segments. Interestingly, RGC information rates were higher and more stable for natural movies than checkerboard noise as degeneration progressed. The main change in RGC responses with photoreceptor degeneration was a decrease in response gain. These results suggest that gene therapies for rod degenerative diseases are likely to prolong cone-mediated vision even if there are changes to cone morphology and density.
Data to generate all summary plots in Figures 1-11 are included in the following GitHub repository: https://github.com/mishek-thapa/cng-data; they are also available as source data files with the manuscript. For physiology data, we have not provided the raw data files (voltage as a function of time on all electrodes) because these files are enormous (in excess of 5 TB). Raw data will be provided upon request by contacting the corresponding author. Requests will be met provided the data will not be used for commercial purposes. MATLAB code for information calculations are available in the above GitHub repository. The Cngbneo/neo mouse model is available to be shared upon request. Raw image files from Figure 1 can be found at doi:10.5061/dryad.x95x69pmq.
- Alapakkam P Sampath
- Jeannie Chen
- Greg D Field
- Greg D Field
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Mice were used according to Duke University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee guidelines (protocol A084-21-04) and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology guidelines for the use of animals in vision research.
- Marla B Feller, University of California, Berkeley, United States
- Received: May 13, 2022
- Accepted: August 25, 2022
- Accepted Manuscript published: August 30, 2022 (version 1)
© 2022, Scalabrino 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.
Exocytosis of secretory vesicles requires the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) proteins and small GTPase Rabs. As a Rab3/Rab27 effector protein on secretory vesicles, Rabphilin 3A was implicated to interact with SNAP-25 to regulate vesicle exocytosis in neurons and neuroendocrine cells, yet the underlying mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we have characterized the physiologically relevant binding sites between Rabphilin 3A and SNAP-25. We found that an intramolecular interplay between the N-terminal Rab-binding domain and C-terminal C2AB domain enables Rabphilin 3A to strongly bind the SNAP-25 N-peptide region via its C2B bottom α-helix. Disruption of this interaction significantly impaired docking and fusion of vesicles with the plasma membrane in rat PC12 cells. In addition, we found that this interaction allows Rabphilin 3A to accelerate SNARE complex assembly. Furthermore, we revealed that this interaction accelerates SNARE complex assembly via inducing a conformational switch from random coils to α-helical structure in the SNAP-25 SNARE motif. Altogether, our data suggest that the promotion of SNARE complex assembly by binding the C2B bottom α-helix of Rabphilin 3A to the N-peptide of SNAP-25 underlies a pre-fusion function of Rabphilin 3A in vesicle exocytosis.
The projection neurons (PNs), reconstructed from electron microscope (EM) images of the Drosophila olfactory system, offer a detailed view of neuronal anatomy, providing glimpses into information flow in the brain. About 150 uPNs constituting 58 glomeruli in the antennal lobe (AL) are bundled together in the axonal extension, routing the olfactory signal received at AL to mushroom body (MB) calyx and lateral horn (LH). Here we quantify the neuronal organization in terms of the inter-PN distances and examine its relationship with the odor types sensed by Drosophila. The homotypic uPNs that constitute glomeruli are tightly bundled and stereotyped in position throughout the neuropils, even though the glomerular PN organization in AL is no longer sustained in the higher brain center. Instead, odor-type dependent clusters consisting of multiple homotypes innervate the MB calyx and LH. Pheromone-encoding and hygro/thermo-sensing homotypes are spatially segregated in MB calyx, whereas two distinct clusters of food-related homotypes are found in LH in addition to the segregation of pheromone-encoding and hygro/thermo-sensing homotypes. We find that there are statistically significant associations between the spatial organization among a group of homotypic uPNs and certain stereotyped olfactory responses. Additionally, the signals from some of the tightly bundled homotypes converge to a specific group of lateral horn neurons (LHNs), which indicates that homotype (or odor type) specific integration of signals occurs at the synaptic interface between PNs and LHNs. Our findings suggest that before neural computation in the inner brain, some of the olfactory information are already encoded in the spatial organization of uPNs, illuminating that a certain degree of labeled-line strategy is at work in the Drosophila olfactory system.