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Trends Neurosci. 2015 Jun;38(6):375-86. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2015.04.005. Epub 2015 May 9.

Cre-driven optogenetics in the heterogeneous genetic panorama of the VTA.

Author information

1
Uppsala University, Department of Neuroscience, Unit of Functional Neurobiology, Husargatan 3, Box 593, S-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden; Uppsala University, Department of Comparative Physiology, Norbyvägen 18A, S-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden; Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brain Institute, Av Nascimento de Castro 2155, 59056-450 Natal, Brazil.
2
Uppsala University, Department of Neuroscience, Unit of Functional Neurobiology, Husargatan 3, Box 593, S-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden; Uppsala University, Department of Comparative Physiology, Norbyvägen 18A, S-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden. Electronic address: asa.mackenzie@neuro.uu.se.

Abstract

The selectivity of optogenetics commonly relies on genetic promoters to manipulate specific populations of neurons through the use of Cre-driver lines. All studies performed in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) so far have utilized promoters present in groups of cells that release dopamine (DA), GABA, or glutamate. However, neurons that co-release neurotransmitters and variabilities within groups of neurons that release the same neurotransmitter present challenges when evaluating the results. Further complexity is introduced by ectopic expression patterns often occurring in transgenic Cre-drivers. New perspectives could be unfolded by identifying and selecting different types of promoter for driving the Cre recombinase. Here, we discuss some promising candidates and highlight the advantages or disadvantages of different methods for creating novel transgenic lines.

KEYWORDS:

GABA; aversion; dopamine; glutamate; reward; transgenics; ventral tegmental area

PMID:
25962754
DOI:
10.1016/j.tins.2015.04.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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