Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neuron. 2009 Aug 13;63(3):305-15. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.07.010.

Linking genetically defined neurons to behavior through a broadly applicable silencing allele.

Author information

Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Tools for suppressing synaptic transmission gain power when able to target highly selective neuron subtypes, thereby sharpening attainable links between neuron type, behavior, and disease; and when able to silence most any neuron subtype, thereby offering broad applicability. Here, we present such a tool, RC::PFtox, that harnesses breadth in scope along with high cell-type selection via combinatorial gene expression to deliver tetanus toxin light chain (tox), an inhibitor of vesicular neurotransmission. When applied in mice, we observed cell-type-specific disruption of vesicle exocytosis accompanied by loss of excitatory postsynaptic currents and commensurately perturbed behaviors. Among various test populations, we applied RC::PFtox to silence serotonergic neurons, en masse or a subset defined combinatorially. Of the behavioral phenotypes observed upon en masse serotonergic silencing, only one mapped to the combinatorially defined subset. These findings provide evidence for separability by genetic lineage of serotonin-modulated behaviors; collectively, these findings demonstrate broad utility of RC::PFtox for dissecting neuron functions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Grant support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center