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Cell. 2016 Sep 8;166(6):1564-1571.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.08.024.

Dopamine Neuron-Specific Optogenetic Stimulation in Rhesus Macaques.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DY, UK. Electronic address: wrs@pitt.edu.
2
Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DY, UK.
3
McGovern Brain Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

Abstract

Optogenetic studies in mice have revealed new relationships between well-defined neurons and brain functions. However, there are currently no means to achieve the same cell-type specificity in monkeys, which possess an expanded behavioral repertoire and closer anatomical homology to humans. Here, we present a resource for cell-type-specific channelrhodopsin expression in Rhesus monkeys and apply this technique to modulate dopamine activity and monkey choice behavior. These data show that two viral vectors label dopamine neurons with greater than 95% specificity. Infected neurons were activated by light pulses, indicating functional expression. The addition of optical stimulation to reward outcomes promoted the learning of reward-predicting stimuli at the neuronal and behavioral level. Together, these results demonstrate the feasibility of effective and selective stimulation of dopamine neurons in non-human primates and a resource that could be applied to other cell types in the monkey brain.

PMID:
27610576
PMCID:
PMC5018252
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2016.08.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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