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Nat Methods. 2014 Mar;11(3):338-46. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2836. Epub 2014 Feb 9.

Independent optical excitation of distinct neural populations.

Author information

1
1] The MIT Media Laboratory, Synthetic Neurobiology Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. [2] Department of Biological Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. [3] MIT Center for Neurobiological Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. [4] Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. [5] MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
2
1] Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. [2] MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
3
Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, Virginia, USA.
4
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
5
Beijing Genomics Institute-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China.
6
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
7
Institute of Botany, Cologne Biocenter, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
8
1] Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. [2] Beijing Genomics Institute-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China. [3] Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Erratum in

  • Nat Methods. 2014 Sep;11(9):971.

Abstract

Optogenetic tools enable examination of how specific cell types contribute to brain circuit functions. A long-standing question is whether it is possible to independently activate two distinct neural populations in mammalian brain tissue. Such a capability would enable the study of how different synapses or pathways interact to encode information in the brain. Here we describe two channelrhodopsins, Chronos and Chrimson, discovered through sequencing and physiological characterization of opsins from over 100 species of alga. Chrimson's excitation spectrum is red shifted by 45 nm relative to previous channelrhodopsins and can enable experiments in which red light is preferred. We show minimal visual system-mediated behavioral interference when using Chrimson in neurobehavioral studies in Drosophila melanogaster. Chronos has faster kinetics than previous channelrhodopsins yet is effectively more light sensitive. Together these two reagents enable two-color activation of neural spiking and downstream synaptic transmission in independent neural populations without detectable cross-talk in mouse brain slice.

PMID:
24509633
PMCID:
PMC3943671
DOI:
10.1038/nmeth.2836
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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