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Neuron. 2007 Apr 5;54(1):35-49.

Reversible silencing of neuronal excitability in behaving mice by a genetically targeted, ivermectin-gated Cl- channel.

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Division of Biology 216-76, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


Several genetic strategies for inhibiting neuronal function in mice have been described, but no system that directly suppresses membrane excitability and is triggered by a systemically administered drug, has been validated in awake behaving animals. We expressed unilaterally in mouse striatum a modified heteromeric ivermectin (IVM)-gated chloride channel from C. elegans (GluClalphabeta), systemically administered IVM, and then assessed amphetamine-induced rotational behavior. Rotation was observed as early as 4 hr after a single intraperitoneal IVM injection (10 mg/kg), reached maximal levels by 12 hr, and was almost fully reversed by 4 days. Multiple cycles of silencing and recovery could be performed in a single animal. In striatal slice preparations from GluClalphabeta-expressing animals, IVM rapidly suppressed spiking. The two-subunit GluCl/IVM system permits "intersectional" strategies designed to increase the cellular specificity of silencing in transgenic animals.

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