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Elife. 2015 Dec 25;4. pii: e12432. doi: 10.7554/eLife.12432.

A cellular and regulatory map of the cholinergic nervous system of C. elegans.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, United States.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University, New York, United States.
3
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University, New York, United States.
4
Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.
5
Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, United States.
6
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
7
Department of Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, United States.
8
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Texas A&M University, College Station, United States.

Abstract

Nervous system maps are of critical importance for understanding how nervous systems develop and function. We systematically map here all cholinergic neuron types in the male and hermaphrodite C. elegans nervous system. We find that acetylcholine (ACh) is the most broadly used neurotransmitter and we analyze its usage relative to other neurotransmitters within the context of the entire connectome and within specific network motifs embedded in the connectome. We reveal several dynamic aspects of cholinergic neurotransmitter identity, including a sexually dimorphic glutamatergic to cholinergic neurotransmitter switch in a sex-shared interneuron. An expression pattern analysis of ACh-gated anion channels furthermore suggests that ACh may also operate very broadly as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. As a first application of this comprehensive neurotransmitter map, we identify transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that control cholinergic neurotransmitter identity and cholinergic circuit assembly.

KEYWORDS:

<i>c. elegans</i>; neuronal identity; neuroscience; neurotransmitter; transcriptional regulation

PMID:
26705699
PMCID:
PMC4769160
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.12432
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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