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Nat Commun. 2017 Nov 20;8(1):1629. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01699-7.

Activity-dependent expression of Channelrhodopsin at neuronal synapses.

Author information

1
Bio@SNS, Scuola Normale Superiore, piazza dei Cavalieri 7, 56126, Pisa, Italy.
2
NEST, Scuola Normale Superiore, piazza San Silvestro 12, 56127, Pisa, Italy.
3
Center for Nanotechnology Innovation @NEST, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, piazza San Silvestro 12, 56127, Pisa, Italy.
4
Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, via Morego 30, 16163, Genoa, Italy.
5
Optical Approaches to Brain Function Laboratory, Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, via Morego 30, 16163, Genova, Italy.
6
Istituto di Neuroscienze, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Moruzzi 1, 56124, Pisa, Italy.
7
Dulbecco Telethon Institute, via Varese 16b, 00185, Rome, Italy.
8
Bio@SNS, Scuola Normale Superiore, piazza dei Cavalieri 7, 56126, Pisa, Italy. antonino.cattaneo@sns.it.

Abstract

Increasing evidence points to the importance of dendritic spines in the formation and allocation of memories, and alterations of spine number and physiology are associated to memory and cognitive disorders. Modifications of the activity of subsets of synapses are believed to be crucial for memory establishment. However, the development of a method to directly test this hypothesis, by selectively controlling the activity of potentiated spines, is currently lagging. Here we introduce a hybrid RNA/protein approach to regulate the expression of a light-sensitive membrane channel at activated synapses, enabling selective tagging of potentiated spines following the encoding of a novel context in the hippocampus. This approach can be used to map potentiated synapses in the brain and will make it possible to re-activate the neuron only at previously activated synapses, extending current neuron-tagging technologies in the investigation of memory processes.

PMID:
29158498
PMCID:
PMC5696361
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-017-01699-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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