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Sci Rep. 2019 May 16;9(1):7460. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43897-x.

Imaging local brain activity of multiple freely moving mice sharing the same environment.

Author information

1
Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan.
2
Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, 812-8582, Japan.
3
The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Osaka University, Ibaraki, Osaka, 567-0047, Japan.
4
Division of Homeostatic Development, Department of Developmental Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Aichi, 444-8585, Japan.
5
Division of Systems Neuroscience, Tohoku University Graduate School of Life Sciences, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8577, Japan.
6
Image Processing Research Team, RIKEN Centre for Advanced Photonics, Wako, Saitama, 351-0198, Japan.
7
Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan. ng1@sanken.osaka-u.ac.jp.
8
The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Osaka University, Ibaraki, Osaka, 567-0047, Japan. ng1@sanken.osaka-u.ac.jp.

Abstract

Electrophysiological field potential dynamics have been widely used to investigate brain functions and related psychiatric disorders. Considering recent demand for its applicability to freely moving subjects, especially for animals in a group and socially interacting with each other, here we propose a new method based on a bioluminescent voltage indicator LOTUS-V. Using our fiber-free recording method based on the LOTUS-V, we succeeded in capturing dynamic change of brain activity in freely moving mice. Because LOTUS-V is the ratiometric indicator, motion and head-angle artifacts were not significantly detected. Taking advantage of our method as a fiber-free system, we further succeeded in simultaneously recording from multiple independently-locomotive mice that were freely interacting with one another. Importantly, this enabled us to find that the primary visual cortex, a center of visual processing, was activated during the interaction of mice. This methodology may further facilitate a wide range of studies in neurobiology and psychiatry.

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